Tourist Crushed to Death in Venice Gondola Crash
3-year-old girl also hospitalized
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2013 5:35 PM CDT
A gondola plies the waters of Venice's Grand Canal, Italy.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)

(Newser) – A German tourist was crushed to death today after the gondola he was riding in collided with a larger boat ferrying passengers along Venice's Grand Canal, authorities say. A police spokeswoman says the vaporetto, or the public "water bus" that plies Venice's canals, was docking and apparently didn't see the nearby gondola, which was carrying five members of a visiting German family. She said the father of the family was believed to have been crushed to death in the crash. The family's 3-year-old girl was hospitalized in Padua with facial and head injuries.

The crash occurred around noon near the highly trafficked Rialto bridge, one of the most picturesque and popular spots of the lagoon city, which is overwhelmed by tourists this time of year. Both the gondola and the vaporetto were sequestered by police, and prosecutors have opened an investigation. Venice's mayor also promptly convened a panel of experts to look into worsening congestion in the city's waterways. "The problem of water traffic congestion, in high periods and in particular areas of the center, is real," Venice's mayor said in a statement. According to a local news agency, some of Venice's gondoliers stopped their service today in a sign of mourning.

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Aug 19, 2013 12:14 AM CDT
There was a cruise ship full of english, french, germans and italians, sinking in the middle of the med, the captain had radioed for help and been told that if the passengers jumped into the sea then they could be picked up. Now, being sort of busy trying to salvage what he could of the ship, he sent his young second in command off to give the passengers their instructions. 5 minutes later he came back looking disappointed. "What's wrong?" the captain asked? "They all refuse to just jump into the sea like that, they won't listen to me", replied his second in command. So, looking frustrated, the the captain went off to do it himself. He too came back 5 minutes later, however he, unlike his second, returned a smug grin! "How did you do that?" demanded the second "Well..." started the captain"...I told the British it was traditional, I told the French it was fashionable, I told the Germans it was an order and I told the Italians it was forbidden!"
Aug 18, 2013 12:15 PM CDT
Why in hell do people find this a joking matter? A father has been killed and others injured. Is that funny? If so you're a sick individual and you need help. If your mother or father died would you make jokes? Just askin' . . .
Aug 18, 2013 8:53 AM CDT
German tourist in Italy huh... Is that a U boat? No that's-a not-a my boat .