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Crews search wreckage of submerged water taxi

Search still on in Baltimore harbor for 3 bodies


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Fire Department and Coast Guard boats navigate around a barge in Baltimore's Inner Harbor Friday.

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Baltimore (Maryland)
Waterway and Maritime Transportation

(CNN) -- Crews in Baltimore Saturday used a barge and crane and sent divers to try to raise the roof of a water taxi that capsized a week ago with 25 people on board, a city Fire Department spokesman said.

Crews using sonar and underwater cameras found the pontoon boat's roof Friday in the Patapsco River about a quarter of a mile from the accident site, Baltimore Fire Department spokesman Kevin Cartwright said.

Two people pulled from the water soon after the accident died while three other passengers are still missing.

Cartwright said the roof was the crew's most significant find this week, and will serve as the base point for their search for bodies.

A freak storm March 6 capsized the 36-foot Seaport Taxi and dumped the 25 passengers into the 46-degree water of Baltimore's Inner Harbor last Saturday afternoon. The boat overturned about a mile from shore.

The accident was apparently caused by a quick-moving squall that chased the boat as it sped toward shore to tie down.

Rescuers plucked 22 people from the water immediately after the accident, but a 60-year-old woman and a 30-year-old woman later died.

The privately run water taxis carry passengers, typically tourists, around the city's popular Inner Harbor district.

Passengers are told in advance that the boats will not operate during thunder and lightning storms. If storms occur, the boats are supposed to stop at the nearest dock until the storm passes.


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