Swedish Police are looking into whether or not a large oil tanker hit the wreckage of a crashed car which contained all members of the UK indie band Viola Beach, who died after their vehicle careened off a bridge and into a canal in Stockholm on Saturday morning.
As The Telegraph reports, the wreckage of the band’s car was sailed over by the ship — the M/T Tellus, operated by Sirius Shipping — which weighs 7,500 tonnes when fully loaded, shortly after the car dropped over 25 metres from the bridge, which had opened to allow the ship to pass through.
With the new information at hand, Swedish Police now need to consider the prospect that the band might have survived the impact of their fall from the bridge before being bit by the passing tanker.
Police have suggested the ship passing over the band’s vehicle might explain why the car was so badly damaged, as spokesperson Carina Skagerlind says, “We know there was a bridge opening so there was a boat in the water. That’s a part of the investigation now and it can explain part of the damages on the car, if the boat hit the car.”
Swedish state broadcaster SVT reports that the oil tanker saw Viola Beach’s black Nissan Qashqai floating in the water, but the captain believed it was a large mass of snow.
A spokesperson for Sirius Shipping says, “There was no way we could have known if we had driven over a car. The vessel is much too large for that,” while a source from Sweden’s Maritime Administration has said the ship’s crew should have alerted them to the floating object.
The M/T Tellus was given the green light to pass under the open bridge because Viola Beach’s car crash was yet to be reported.
Daniel Backman, a spokesman for Sirius Shipping, says the ship’s captain and crew would have responded differently if they had noticed the car. “We would of course have reacted and stopped. But the outcome for the car would probably not have been different whether the crew had noticed it or not,” he says.
Viola Beach’s four members Kristian Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin died in the incident involving their hire car, as did their manager Craig Tarry. The band formed in May 2015 and released their second single, Boys That Sing, in January. The band were in Sweden to perform their first overseas gig.
Since the band’s tragic car accident, fans have started a campaign to get the group’s first single Swings And Waterslides to the top of the UK charts. The band have already hit number two on the United Kingdom’s iTunes chart.
Watch: Viola Beach – Swings And Waterslides (BBC Maida Vale Session)