CHICAGO – The Lila, delivered to tourboat operator Wendella just this past week, crashed into a concrete dock on the Chicagor River Monday afternoon, after an engine failed to go into reverse. There were 144 passengers on board, plus six crewmembers. Nine passengers were taken to the hospital with various minor injuries. One report has two of the injuries as serious.
On Tuesday, Wendella released a statement saying it was working with the Coast Guard to determine the cause of the engine failure. “At Wendella, the safety of our passengers and employees is our top priority,” the statement reads. “Our thoughts remain with the health and well-being of those who were injured. As a third-generation, family-owned and operated Chicago-based business since 1935, we take pride in serving our passengers and our focus will remain on them.”
However, after the incident, Wendella spokesman Thom Serafin told reporters: “It was an equipment malfunction of some sort as they were coming around the dock. We don’t know what happened to the engine.”
You can see a full report on the incident from Chicago’s NBC affiliate here:
Blount Boats, of Rhode Island, built the Lila, along with Wendella’s last two delivered vessels, the Wendella (2007) and the Linnea (2010).