Erie Canal Accident: One dead after boat capsizes during underground cave tour

A leisurely boat tour on the Erie Canal turned into a tragedy when a tour boat capsized during an underground cave tour, claiming the life of one individual. The incident occurred at the Lockport Cave, a historical attraction in upstate New York. As authorities investigate the cause of this devastating accident, we bring you the latest updates on the incident.

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Fatal Capsizing at Lockport Cave

In a shocking turn of events, a tour boat carrying 29 Niagara County hospitality employees capsized during an underground cave tour at the Lockport Cave on Monday morning. The local fire chief, Luca Quagliano, confirmed the fatality and provided details about the incident during a news conference.

Unbalanced Boat Leads to Tragedy

According to Chief Quagliano, the boat became unbalanced at one point during the tour, causing it to capsize and throwing all 29 passengers into the water. Despite rescue efforts, one person was unable to escape from under the capsized boat, resulting in their untimely death.

Swift Rescue Efforts

Emergency response teams, including fire and EMS personnel, swiftly sprang into action to rescue the passengers. Approximately 16 individuals were rescued with the assistance of rescue teams, while the remaining passengers managed to reach safety on their own. The water’s depth, which was approximately 6 feet, allowed for a quicker response.

Injuries and Hospitalizations

Out of the 29 passengers on board, 11 individuals sustained minor injuries and were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment. Fortunately, their injuries were not life-threatening. Chief Quagliano confirmed that no one aboard the boat was wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.

Investigation and First Incident

The cause of the boat capsizing is still under investigation. Authorities are working to determine why the boat became unbalanced, leading to this tragic accident. Notably, officials mentioned that this incident marks the first in the tour company’s history since it began operating in the 1970s.

Victim’s Identity and Family Impact

The victim, believed to be approximately 60 years old, has not been identified. Chief Quagliano noted that the victim’s wife was among those taken to the hospital. The emotional toll on the families and loved ones affected by this unfortunate incident is immeasurable.

Grieving and Collaborative Response

As the investigation into the Erie Canal tour boat accident continues, the community mourns the loss of life and extends support to the affected families. Authorities and emergency operation teams are working closely to provide assistance and gather crucial information. New York Governor Kathy Hochul expressed her solidarity and assured the public of her team’s close collaboration with local officials and emergency response teams during this difficult time.

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