Accidents: Damage to Kiel bridges - Kiel Canal closed

A ship collided with two bridges in Kiel on the Kiel Canal.

Accidents: Damage to Kiel bridges - Kiel Canal closed

A ship collided with two bridges in Kiel on the Kiel Canal. The artificial waterway will remain closed to shipping due to the unknown extent of the damage to the Holtenau high bridges. Cars, trucks, cyclists and pedestrians also have to give way for the time being.

The jib of a 38 meter high crane on board the Finnish special ship hit the bridges at around 4.30 a.m. shortly after passing through the Holtenau lock. "It rattled like crazy here," said a police spokesman. After the incident, numerous residents reported. The heavy-duty and work ship was on the canal in the direction of Brunsbüttel.

"It's totally serious," said the senior engineer at the State Office for Roads and Traffic, Susan Müller, after an initial assessment of the damage by experts. Investigators are now checking whether technical or human error was the cause of the accident, said a police spokesman. Not all witnesses have been questioned. The investigations were still ongoing. According to police, no one was injured in the accident.

According to the police, it is still unclear whether and if so, how the ship was measured before entering the canal. A spokesman said the surveys were still pending. According to the Waterways and Shipping Authority, the maximum passage height is 40 meters.

Detour via Skagen

"We have 16 ships in the channel that are currently not making any progress," said a spokesman for the authority. Half a dozen ships were waiting off Kiel at times on Wednesday. Until the canal is free again, ships have to take the detour via Skagen to get from the Baltic Sea to the North Sea or vice versa.

The damage to the two bridges is visible from the ground, one of them has a dent. According to the state office, it can be assumed that the safety checks will probably last several days.

The two approximately 518 meter long bridges are each 42 meters high. The Olympic Bridge was completed in 1972, the Prince Heinrich Bridge in 1996. The condition of the Prince Heinrich Bridge was good when it was last checked in 2019, and the condition of the Olympic Bridge in 2020 was still good.

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