Rhine River closed
I and my film crew have driven that stretch of the river several times. It is easy to underestimate the current and turbulence unless you see it in person. By all accounts I have read, that stretch of the Rhine is very treacherous. It's not as bad as it used to be but it's still tricky to navigate. Also, if the barge hit or hung up on any obstruction on the bottom the current could easily swing it and once it started pushing on the upriver side, the barge would go over pretty quickly.
The Lorelei, which is near where this capsizing occurred, is one of the most dangerous river sections in the world. It's been tamed to a degree by dredging and other schemes but it remains a very treacherous place. We've watched the big power barges negotiate the Lorelei from on top of it, and it's obvious it requires some very precise boat handling.
-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 13th of January 2011 02:34:12 PM