Feds: Axle from duck boat in deadly crash 'sheared off'

SEATTLE (AP) — Federal investigators say the left front axle of a duck boat involved in a deadly Seattle accident was sheared off, but they don't know if it was damaged before the collision with a charter bus that killed four international college students.

National Transportation Safety Board Member Earl Weener said Saturday the axle will be sent to a federal lab for further examination.

Weener said it's too soon to know how the axle was damaged, or if it happened before the collision.

Witnesses have said they saw the duck boat's left tire "lock up" Thursday as it swerved into a charter bus carrying international students over a bridge.

Four North Seattle College students from Austria, China, Indonesia and Japan were killed.

Among those killed was 49-year-old Claudia Derschmidt, of Austria. She had just enrolled in the college’s international program this year and was a mother to a 15-year-old son who was also on the bus.

Also killed were 18-year-old Privando Putradanto, of Indonesia; 37-year-old Mami Sato, of Japan; and 17-year-old Runjie Song, of China.