Seven injured and hundreds evacuated after Thames tourist boat crashes into barge

The incident left some passengers with cuts, neck pain and shock

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The Independent Online

Seven people have suffered minor injuries after a Thames boat they were travelling on collided into a barge.

The City Cruises tourist boat, with a capacity of 340, hit the cargo vessel yesterday afternoon on the Central London section of the river near to Waterloo Bridge, as it travelled east towards the Tower of London.

An evacuation was launched though neither boats were at risk of sinking, officials confirmed.

A teenage boy was treated for a graze to his leg, while another boy suffered shock.

Two women, one in her seventies and one in her thirties, suffered neck pain while another, in her fifties, had to be treated for knee pain. Others were treated for cuts and whiplash.

None were taken to hospital and nobody entered the water. The cause of the collision is yet unknown.

Twitter pictures from the passengers show substantial damage to the boat's windows, with glass scattered on the floor.

Passengers have told of being “terrified” that the boat would either capsize or go down.

One passenger said: “I thought I was going to die, I really did and I know that's ridiculous, but that was the scariest moment of my entire life”, Savannah Hill said, according to ITV News.

An eyewitness said that the crash caused a “huge, huge thud.”

Roly Elliott, 32, told the Evening Standard: “I was lunching at the Oxo Tower and could just see this big barge straying diagonally towards the front of the ship.

“The barge tried to cut to the right around the front but didn't judge it and the front of the ferry smashed head on with the barge.”

A spokeswoman for City Cruises said: “[Yesterday] at 2.25pm the Millennium Time - part of City Cruises' sightseeing fleet - made contact with a commercial vessel while sailing by Coin Street on the River Thames.

 “All other passengers were guided off the boat promptly by City Cruises, who continue to do everything they can to support the authorities and those involved in the incident.

“Investigations are ongoing and more information will follow pending its conclusion.

“The Millennium Time will return to Cherry Garden Pier for repair and all other City Cruises services are running as usual.”