The river attracts crowds once again

Only one remaining sign of the duck boat tragedy last Wednesday — a small bouquet of flowers at the area where Ride the Ducks vehicles enter the water — could be found along the Delaware River yesterday on the fourth day of a federal investigation into what caused the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board interviewed the five crew members of the tugboat that pushed a barge as it ran over a Ride the Ducks tourist watercraft last week, leaving two Hungarian students dead.

But an NTSB spokesman said yesterday that it was not ready to release any new findings.

The NTSB is expected to wrap up its investigation by the end of this week. It normally then takes about four to six weeks to publish a formal report. Officials are still trying to determine what might have prevented the fatal collision that occurred when the duck boat’s engine conked out in the middle of the river’s busy shipping lane.

Philadelphia officials, meanwhile, are looking into commercially-licensed use of the river off Penn’s Landing, where hundreds of small recreational watercraft, ferries and massive freighters share the river.

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