Monday, September 15, 2008

Paris police hold river pilots after 2 die in Seine sinking

PARIS: Two people died after a small boat sank in central Paris, and police officers investigating the possibility of a collision detained the pilot and co-pilot of one of the large tourist boats that carry sightseers along the Seine river, officials said Sunday.

The smaller boat was carrying 12 people when it sank Saturday night in the heart of Paris near Notre Dame Cathedral. Ten of those aboard were rescued immediately, but a 6-year-old child and an adult in the bottom of the boat were trapped underwater for several minutes before divers pulled them out.

The two, who French news reports said were a boy and his father, were sent to the hospital and then died overnight, the police said.

The circumstances of the accident remained unclear. Investigators said a collision between the two boats appeared the most likely cause of the accident, according to judicial officials.

The Paris prosecutor's office opened an investigation into manslaughter and involuntary injury, said the officials, who were not authorized to be named because the investigation is under way.

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