Four dead after speedboat hits river barge
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Four men who died when their speedboat collided with a barge on the Maas have been identified by relatives.

A total of seven men were on board the boat when the crash happened near the town of Cuijk, near Nijmegen, shortly after 8.30pm on Monday.

The body of one of the victims, a 32-year-old man from Ottersum, was found in the wreckage of the boat after it was towed to the bank just after midnight.

The bodies of three other men, one of whom is believed to have been the driver, were recovered by police search teams on Tuesday. The victims were aged between 24 and 32 and from the local area.

The remaining passengers, three men aged 39, 36 and 31, managed to swim to safety and were taken to hospital with minor injuries. Two have since been discharged.

Hossein Hashemimehr, 50, who raised the alarm after he witnessed the collision, said: “I heard a loud bang and saw people falling into the water.” He said the speedboat did not seem to be travelling at high speed.

Another witness, Wim Basten, who saw the group mooring at Cuijk about an hour and a half earlier, described them as “a cheerful bunch of lads”.
“They didn’t seem to be drunk and weren’t behaving in a macho way.”

Police said they were not ruling out the possibility that alcohol may have been a factor in the collision. A spokesman said two of the survivors had been drinking heavily. The skipper of the barge was tested for alcohol and found to be clear.

Police are also investigating if the speedboat was travelling too fast at the time of the impact. A speed limit is in force on the stretch of the Maas at Cuijk after sunset.

Source: De Gelderlander: Derde slachtoffer aanvaring Maas gevonden
Photo by Ton Zijlstra


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