A ferry skipper has been quizzed by police after a minivan being moved to the shore was destroyed when the ship crane lifting it suddenly failed.
The smashed car was left dangling over the ferry’s side above the Rhine River in Cologne, in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, only clinging on by its rear axle trapped in the rails.
Police in Cologne told Newsflash how the ferry’s 53-year-old skipper had tried to swing the car ashore using his own crane on 4th April.
He had been aiming to transfer the van to freight platforms at Cologne South station before a gear dropped out of the winch, sending the vehicle down to the deck.
Cologne South station has four platform tracks at two island platforms and two tracks without platforms, which are used by intensive freight traffic.
Due an unspecified technical defect during the transfer, a gear from the ship’s crane fell.
A spokesperson from the Cologne Police Headquarters said: “In order to prevent further slipping due to larger wave movements, the Water Protection Police instructed passing ships to go slower.”
The heavily-damaged minivan was finally lifted onto the shore through the help of a cargo crane about five hours later, at around 10.15am.
The police did not provide any further information regarding the incident.