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Massive oil tanker sailed over wreckage of UK band Viola Beach's crashed car

A vast oil tanker sailed over the wreckage of the British indie band Viola Beach's car moments after it plummeted off a bridge that had opened to allow the vessel through, London's Telegraph has revealed.

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UK band Viola Beach killed in Sweden

Swedish police describe the circumstances surrounding the car accident which killed all four band members of Viola Beach and their manager in Sweden on Saturday night.

Five men were killed in the early hours of Saturday when their vehicle plunged more than 25 metres through a gap in a highway bridge, which had opened to let the boat pass underneath.

The disclosure raises the prospect that the band could have survived the initial impact of the fall from the bridge and instead been killed by the passing boat.

Swedish state broadcaster SVT reported that the ship's captain saw the band's black Nissan Qashqai floating in the water but thought it was a large mass of snow.

A source in the country's Maritime Administration told SVT that the ship's crew should have alerted them after spotting the object floating in the waterway.

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The vessel had received a green light to proceed under the opened bridge because the crash had not yet been reported.

"The ship which passed over was called Tellus," Per Stenhammer, from the Swedish Maritime Administration, which oversees the Sodertalje Canal told the Telegraph.

"I don't know why they didn't see the car. The only thing we know is that there was a normal bridge opening and that the car came over and went into the water before the vessel passed."

The M/T Tellus is operated by Sirius shipping and weights 7500 tonnes fully-laden. Its tanks have a capacity of 11,000 cubic metres.

Daniel Backman, a spokesman for Sirius shipping, said: "No one realised that a car had fallen from the bridge. That was only discovered the next day. No one put out an alert that anything like that had happened, so we didn't know there had been an accident.

"There was no way we could have known if we had driven over a car. The vessel is much too large for that."

He said that if the captain had noticed, the crew would have responded differently.

"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 said.

Swedish police have suggested that the oil tanker passing over the stricken vehicle may help explain why the car was so badly damaged when it was retrieved from the canal.

Police spokesman Carina Skagerlind said: "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."

The band, made up of four friends from their hometown of Warrington, Cheshire, were guitarist and vocalist Kristian Leonard, 20; guitarist River Reeves, 19; bass player Tomas Lowe, 27, and drummer Jack Dakin, 19. Manager Craig Tarry, 32, was the fifth person in the hire car.

Viola Beach formed in May 2015 and released their debut single Swings & Waterslides in August. They featured on BBC Introducing, which showcases up-and-coming music artists.

The band put out their second single, Boys That Sing, on January 22 on Communion Records, and was in Sweden to perform at the Where's the Music? festival in Norrköping on Friday night. It was their first overseas gig.

The Telegraph, London

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