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Captain killed at Dutch ferry accident

A small passenger ferry capsized after it collided with a German cargo ship in a busy Dutch shipping canal on Friday, killing the ferry captain and halting traffic in the waterway for much of the day.

Captain killed at Dutch ferry accident
22 October 2010 - 21:33

A small passenger ferry capsized after it collided with a German cargo ship in a busy Dutch shipping canal on Friday, killing the ferry captain and halting traffic in the waterway for much of the day.

The 72-km (45-mile) canal, which links Amsterdam to the Rhine, a major European shipping artery, has a strong current and is about 100 metres (yards) wide.

The accident took place about 30 km south of Amsterdam shortly before dawn, disrupting traffic in the area for several hours. The canal was reopened shortly before 5:00 p.m. (1500 GMT), a spokeswoman for the Transport Ministry said.

Police said the ferry’s 56-year-old captain was killed, but no other people were thought to have been aboard it. Commuter traffic was lighter than usual because of the school holidays.

Firefighters, divers, a helicopter and a boat with thermal sonar were called in to search for the missing captain. His body was eventually found about 15 metres from the overturned ferry, police spokeswoman Carine Portengen said.

Police said the two German crew members on the inland freight ship, a 60-year-old and a 36-year-old, were detained for questioning and had tested negative for alcohol.

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