The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating last week's deadly Ride the Ducks crash in Seattle, and it looks as if the vehicle's operators are going to have to answer some very tough questions. The board says that Ride the Ducks International issued a warning about potential axle failure in 2013, but the 70-year-old amphibious Army surplus craft involved in the crash did not have the recommended repair, the AP reports. Witnesses say the vehicle's front-left tire appeared to seize up before it slammed into a tour bus, and an NTSB spokesman says that axle was "sheared off" in the crash, the Seattle Times reports.
It isn't clear whether the Seattle Ride the Ducks business, which has kept its remaining vehicles idle since the crash, received the warning about the axle problem, the Times notes. The full NTSB investigation, which is the first involving a Ducks crash on land, is expected to take a year. KOMO News reports that a 20-year-old woman injured in the crash has died, bringing the death toll to five. Like the other victims, she was part of a group of international students from North Seattle College who were on the tour bus. KOMO reports that the other fatalities have been identified as a 37-year-old Japanese woman, a 17-year-old woman from China, an 18-year-old Indonesian man, and a 49-year-old woman from Austria. (Read more Seattle stories.)