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Boats crushed and sunk by breaking ice

  • Mon, 20 Feb 2012

Only a handful of boats survive the sudden thawing of the Danube

frozen danube

The frozen Danube has suddenly started melting sinking boats, pontoons and floating restaurants in Belgrade. Boats stuck in the ice were carried down the river Danube as up to 11 inches of solid ice began to melt.

The temperature shot up from -20C to 10C over the weekend causing a rapid thawing of the frozen river.

Owners have been told by officials to monitor their property but avoid recovering it from the river.

One local resident told AP that people were too relaxed about the big freeze and left their boats in the water.

Boat owner Mihailo Svilaric said only a handful of boats have survived the chaos. "We are trying to salvage whatever we can," he told Reuters.

"The ice was so fast that we could do nothing to prevent this," boat owner Dragan Jovanovic told Reuters. "The damage will be hundreds of thousands of euros for sure."

Authorities are unsure whether the rapid thawing of the river could cause flooding. "At this moment we don't know what will happen," a Serbian water supply system official told the AP.

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