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Four treated and released in Rhine riverboat allision

(File photo: Scylla AG)
Swiss Crystal was involved in an accident near Duisburg on Tuesday night
Four passengers were taken to hospital and released the following day after Swiss Crystal, operated by Scylla AG, struck a motorway bridge pillar near Duisburg, Germany, Tuesday night.

According to German media reports, Swiss Crystal was carrying 102 passengers, 25 crew and two tour guides. Seatrade Cruise News understands most of the passengers were Dutch citizens.

The Swiss-registered vessel was on a Christmas cruise of the Rhine that sailed Dec. 22 from Arnhem and was due back Dec. 27.

Swiss Crystal hit the bridge pillar around 8:45 p.m. local time as it passed under the A42 motorway while sailing downstream back toward the Netherlands. The Duisburg Fire Service received emergency calls around 8:50 p.m.

According to police reports and statements by the operator, four passengers were taken immediately to hospital; all were discharged Wednesday. Some other passengers later sought medical checks.

Soon after the incident another Scylla vessel, Emily Bronte, was called to the accident site. Some Swiss Crystal passengers were transferred to the vessel, while others were taken ashore and transported back to the Netherlands by bus. The situation was reported quickly under control and the emergency procedures worked without a hitch.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. Police closed the A42 motorway between the Kamp-Lintfort and Duisburg-Nord exits following the allision. The motorway was opened again Wednesday morning after experts confirmed the bridge sustained no structural damage.

Damage to Swiss Crystal was mainly confined to the bow section.

The 1995-built vessel is 101 meters long and has capacity for up to 125 passengers.