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January 14, 1993: 54 die as Polish ferry capsizes off Germany

The rail ferry Jan Heweliusz turned over in the morning off the island of Ruegen

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
A Polish ferry Jan Heweliusz turned over off the island of Ruegen, Germany.

1993 - A Polish ferry capsized in fierce storms off Germany’s Baltic coast, probably drowning 54 of the 60 people aboard. The rail ferry Jan Heweliusz turned over in the morning off the island of Ruegen, Germany’s north-eastern tip, after listing in churning seas with winds of up to 160km/h. A Mecklenburg state police spokesman confirmed eight bodies had been plucked from the chilly waters. The ferry had a crew of 28 and 32 passengers, including truck drivers from Germany, Austria, Hungary and Sweden. In Warsaw, Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka set up a special government committee to investigate the disaster. “I would like to join in the pain and sympathy of all who were personally touched by the tragedy,” Suchocka told reporters.

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