8 Die, 5 Missing in Canoe Accident in Slovenia
Police: 8 dead, 5 missing after canoes run over half-built dam in Slovenia
By ALI H. ZERDIN Associated Press Writer
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia July 4, 2008 (AP)
The Associated Press
Rescuers search for survivors near Sevnica, southern Slovenia, Thursday, July 3, 2008. Thirteen people are feared dead after their kayaks hit a dam under construction on the Sava River. The mayor of the local town was reportedly among the victims.
Divers pulled seven bodies out of the Sava River and fought strong currents Friday to search for five other people still missing after two canoes were crushed running over a dam in southeastern Slovenia.
Two people managed to swim ashore after their boats crumpled, overturned and capsized but one died Friday in the hospital, raising the death toll to 8, according police spokesman Robert Perc. The second survivor remained hospitalized.
The accident happened late Thursday, when two large canoes decided to run over a dam under construction near Sevnica, a town 56 miles (90 kilometers) southeast of the capital of Ljubljana. At that section, the dam, part of a hydroelectric plant, is currently built only to about the height of the water.
The trip — ominously dubbed “The Final Descent” — was organized by local officials and all participants were Slovenians. It was to be the last ride down that section of the river, which will soon be blocked by the hydroelectric plant.