This Sept. 24, 2015, photo shows a “Ride the Ducks” amphibious tour bus (right) and a charter bus at the scene of a fatal collision on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle. The National Transportation Safety Board meets Tuesday, Nov. 15, to determine the probable cause of the crash of the Ride the Ducks vehicle after it crossed the center line into oncoming traffic while driving over the bridge. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Feds: Mechanical error in Seattle crash of Ride the Ducks boat

Associated Press

Associated Press

SEATTLE — The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board says an investigation into a deadly amphibious tour boat crash in Seattle found it was caused by a mechanical failure.

NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said Tuesday the Ride the Ducks vehicle had a fractured left axle housing.

Five people died and 69 people were injured in the Sept. 24, 2015, accident.

Hart said in his opening statement at a meeting of the agency that the chain of events leading to the crash began years before it happened.

He says there were missing layers of safety oversight in the way amphibious passenger vehicles were manufactured, operated and maintained.

A safety defect in the axle house of the model of the vehicle in the crash had been found, but a modification didn’t address the defect.

The board will make safety recommendations after hearing the full report.

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