A number of German newspapers are reporting that the Viking Freya struck a rail bridge, last night, crushing the wheelhouse and killing two officers who were navigating the ship. The ship came to rest under the rail bridge and a pedestrian bridge which paralleled the rail bridge.
The river cruise ship had just left the town of Erlangen on its way to the Hungarian capital of Budapest, and was operating on the main Danube Canal at night when the accident occurred. The accident reportedly occurred at 1:30 A.M.
The dead officers were a 49-year-old who was at the helm of the vessel and a 33-year-old man.
Photographs taken after the accident show that the wheelhouse was completely obliterated in the impact with the bridge.
The Blick ama Abend newspaper indicates that that the two crew members who were killed were Hungarians. The ship is operated by Viking River Cruises AG.
The wheelhouse can be lowered when the Viking Freya encounters low bridges, as seen in this YouTube video, and then raised after it goes under the bridge.
There were reportedly 181 passengers and 47 other crew members on the ship at the time. No other injuries or casualties were reported.
Photo credits: Top © Nicolas Armer/dpa via Stern; Bottom UPI via Blick am a Bend.