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Crew members die after Danube river cruiser hits bridge in Germany

Two crew members were killed on their ship when it hit a bridge over the Main-Danube canal near the southern German town of Erlangen. All passengers were rescued unharmed.

Two men on board a river cruiser died near the southern German town of Erlangen on Sunday when their boat hit a railway bridge. Emergency personnel were dispatched to the location on the canal connecting the Danube and Main rivers.

"The dead were two men, aged 33 and 49," and both were crew members, a police spokesman said.

After the crash, the 180 passengers and 47 crew members had to wait for hours to be brought ashore. Some 200 rescue workers were on the scene, and traffic on the busy river corridor was suspended indefinitely.

"It breaks our hearts," a spokesman for Viking River Cruise told German news agency dpa, adding that the company's Nuremberg office was working in tandem with authorities to discover what led to the accident.

"We cannot say at this time what caused the accident - if it was human error or a technical error or a combination of the two," authorities said.

Police confirmed that except for the two men who lost their lives there were no other injuries. The rail bridge was not badly damaged.

es/jm (dpa, AP)