Tour boat hit with raw sewage

You can bet I’d be asking for more than $26 back.  That’s why you never stand on deck while going under bridges.

August 9, 2004


Tourists aboard an architectural sightseeing boat on the Chicago River—a premier city attraction—were doused with raw sewage Sunday afternoon as the vessel hovered under the Kinzie Street bridge, the tour operator and Chicago Police said.

More than 100 people were aboard the packed Chicago’s First Lady at 1:20 p.m. when the sewage dropped from two tour buses passing overhead, said Lynn Osmond, president and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

The tour had been under way for 20 minutes when the sewage splashed onto the boat, which immediately returned to the dock, Osmond said. Five people went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for tests and treatment, police said.

“It went onto people, into eyes and mouths,’’ Osmond said. People were forced to discard clothing, and some tourists are still awaiting tests to make sure they did not contract a disease, she said.

People on the boat got descriptions of the large, black touring buses and their license plate numbers. The company is now trying to find out who owns the buses.

A police Marine Unit officer said they have been called in the past about waste—often diesel or oil—being dropped into the river. Reports of human waste are not so common, he said.

“It might happen more often than we think,’’ he said. But this time, “it happened to hit a boat.’’

The passengers were all refunded their $26 ticket cost, Osmond said.

Posted by SPN on 08/11 at 03:04 PM in Blogging

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