New York Daily News
The windy, stinky city
CHICAGO - Chicago police said Monday they were
investigating a foul-smelling gunk that showered tourists taking a boat tour of the city.
Witnesses on the Chicago's Little Lady architecture tour Sunday afternoon saw a large black tour bus dumping liquid waste as their boat cruised under the Kinzie Street bridge on the Chicago River, said Anita Pedersen, spokeswoman for the tour boat company. More than 100 passengers were on the boat when the waste poured onto the upper, open deck.
"I can only presume that perhaps it's human waste. There was a very strong smell to it," Pedersen said. Police spokesman Carlos Herrera said police were investigating how the passengers came to be covered by the mess and exactly what it was. Pedersen said some boat passengers wrote down partial license plate numbers of the bus. After the incident, the boat's captain turned the vessel around so passengers could return to the dock. They all got refunds, Pedersen said.
The boat has since been cleaned with disinfectant. The Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago also are investigating the matter, said Illinois EPA spokesman Rob Sulski. "We need to find out whether it was a deliberate matter or an accident," Sulski said.
Water reclamation district spokesman Lou Kollias said they had little information Monday about the incident. Lynn Osmond, president and CEO the Chicago Architecture Foundation, which runs the tour boats along with the boat's owner, said nothing like this has ever happened before.
"I think this is a fluke and everybody understands that," Osmond said. "This is the Chicago River that we all respect and love, and hopefully this is something that will not be left to happen