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Nine hospitalized after boat crashes into dock on Chicago River

Injured passengers are removed from Wendelltour boby fire department personnel after bostruck dock near Michigan ave. bridge Chicago river. |

Injured passengers are removed from a Wendella tour boat by fire department personnel after the boat struck the dock near the Michigan ave. bridge on the Chicago river. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: September 8, 2012 6:18AM

Nine passengers were hos­pitalized Monday after a Wendella tour boat crashed into a dock on the Chicago River.

The Lila, a Wendella Boat Tours vessel, crashed into company’s dock near the Michigan Avenue bridge around 5:35 p.m., officials said.

About 150 passengers were aboard when the new boat hit the dock, and nine passengers were hospitalized, fire department officials said. Their injuries were not life-threatening.

“All of a sudden people realized that the boat was not going to stop on time,” passenger Fern Furst of Schaumburg told the Sun-Times. “People were on the ground. Chairs had fallen over and we were trying to help the injured.”

Furst said her husband, Gil, skinned his knee.

“He looked at his knee first and it was fine,” she said. “And then it started to swell. The paramedics said we should go to the hospital. There was a doctor on board and he was helping.

There were a lot people with skinned knees and superficial bruises.

“It was an unfortunate incident and we are thankful no one was seriously hurt.”

Seven people were taken in good condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center or St. Joseph Hospital and two were taken in good condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Three patients brought to Advocate Illinois were still being treated as of 10 p.m., officials said. Eleven refused to go to the hospital after they were examined on the scene, fire officials said.

“Wendella ... is very concerned with the guests who were on board and extends our well wishes,” a Wendella statement said.

The tour boat company and the U.S. Coast Guard were investigating.

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