Tourist boat sinks in central Budapest, Hungary
A boat carrying dozens of South Korean tourists sank in central Budapest, killing several on board on 29 May 2019. After the river boat collision in Budapest killed at least seven people and left 21 missing, a boat captain has been detained.
35 people, including 33 South Korean tourists, were on board a sightseeing boat when it collided with another vessel in the Hungarian capital on Wednesday night, according to South Korean's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The collision occurred in the city centre. After the tourist boat was hit by the larger vessel, it flipped and sank in seven seconds, according to Hungarian Police,
The captain of the other boat has been detained and his arrest proposed, Budapest police said in a statement on Thursday. The 64-year-old Ukrainian citizen, named only as Mr Yuriy, was first questioned after police found evidence that warranted suspicion during their investigation into the accident's cause. Budapest police say they continue to search for the 21 people who remain missing. Of the seven who were rescued, six have now been discharged from the hospital. One person remains in hospital with several broken ribs, a doctor from the ER confirmed.
Seven South Korean tourists died in the accident, of whom two have been identified. None were wearing life jackets, authorities said. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said in a statement that rescue efforts had been hampered by poor weather.
Divers found a body in the wreckage of the pleasure boat on Wednesday, 5 June 2019, a week after the vessel capsized and sank on the River Danube in Budapest, officials said, as crews prepared for salvage operations. Divers found one body in the wreckage on Wednesday morning, authorities said, hours after police found the remains of one of the Korean tourists 60km (37 miles) downstream, underlining the scale of the recovery operation.
South Korean and Hungarian crews would start trying to secure the vessel to prevent the loss of bodies and prepare for a possible salvage, South Korean defence attaché Song Shun-Keun told journalists in Budapest. It was still too dangerous for divers to enter the wreck and visibility underwater was poor, he added. "Depending on that process, we will decide on whether we can start salvaging the ship with the crane on Thursday or on Friday," he added.
Seven Koreans survived the disaster, 13 people have now been found dead and another 15 people are still missing. Six of the survivors talked on Tuesday to police and prosecutors investigating the cause of the collision, South Koreas's Deputy foreign minister for consular affairs, Lee Sang-Jin, told the same briefing. He did not give further details.
South Korea has asked Hungary to ensure that the captain of the cruise liner, a 64-year-old Ukrainian under arrest pending bail, is not released. His lawyers said the captain was devastated by what happened but had done nothing wrong.
A joint team of divers have been exploring the wreck in difficult conditions.
South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha is heading up a central disaster and safety countermeasures headquarters, which will aim to ensure smooth dialogue with the victims, families and the tour boat collision.
Source: CNN and Channel News Asia