Tourist Killed in Venice Gondola Crash

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 17 2013 12:55 PM

German Tourist Killed in Venice Gondola Crash

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A gondola transports passengers on a Canal in Venice

Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images

A scenic trip down the iconic Venice Grand Canal turned tragic Saturday when a German tourist was crushed to death after the gondola he was riding with his family crashed with a larger boat. The crash took place near one of the most picturesque parts of the canal—the Rialto Bridge—that is highly congested with gondola and boat traffic. There is some contradictory information on how the crash happened, but the Associated Press cites a police spokeswoman saying the crash took place when the public “water bus” known as a vaporetto was docking. The tourist appears to have been crushed to death.

Initial reports, such as this one from UPI, claimed the five members of the German family were thrown into the water but the police later said none of the people on the gondola fell into the canal. Still, a 3-year-old girl was hospitalized with injuries.The Venice mayor vowed to do double-down on efforts to do something about the increased canal traffic that has led to accidents in recent years. For example, four Spanish tourists were thrown into the water in 2011, points out the BBC.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.