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Seven dead, 21 missing after sightseeing boat sinks in Hungary

The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.

A rescue boat is seen on the Danube rver after tourist boat capsized in Budapest, Hungary, May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Seven people were confirmed dead and 21 remained missing early Thursday after a sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest.

Rescue officials said seven bodies had been recovered. Pal Gyorfi, spokesman for the National Ambulance Service, said seven people were rescued and hospitalized in stable condition following the accident Wednesday night.

National police spokesman Kristof Gal said 33 South Koreans were on the boat, after early reports mentioned 32. South Korea’s foreign ministry later confirmed that 33 of its citizens were on the boat and said 19 were still missing.

Police officers stand on a landing dock early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)

The two crew members were identified as Hungarian.

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The sunken boat was located early Thursday near the Margit Bridge, not far from the neo-Gothic Parliament building on the river bank.

Employees from the South Korean Embassy in Budapest were assisting Hungarian officials in identifying those rescued and the deceased.

Officials said searchers were checking the Danube for miles downriver from Budapest. The river was fast-flowing and rising as heavy rain continued in the city.

A rescue boat is seen on the Danube river after a tourist boat capsized in Budapest, Hungary, May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Earlier, the news website said one of the people rescued was found near the Petofi Bridge, which is about two miles south of Parliament.

Dozens of rescue personnel, including from the military and divers, were involved in the search.

The boat that sank was identified as the “Hableany” (Mermaid), which is described on the sightseeing company’s website as “one of the smallest members of the fleet.” It has two decks and a capacity for 60 people, or 45 for sightseeing cruises.


Mihaly Toth, a spokesman for the Panorama Deck boating company, said the “Hableany” was on a “routine city sightseeing trip” when the accident happened. He told state television that he had no information about any technical problems with the boat, which he said was serviced regularly.

First published on: 30-05-2019 at 09:17:41 am
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