Thursday, 30 May 2019

Seven dead, 19 missing as tourist boat crashes and sinks in Budapest


Seven people have been confirmed dead and 19 are still missing after a sightseeing boat carrying 33 passengers and two crew crashed and sank in the Danube River in Budapest.

The boat, carrying tourists from Korea with two crews from Hungary, crashed and sank on Wednesday night after hitting another vessel.

Rescue officials said seven bodies had been recovered following the boat accident while a further seven people were rescued and are now being treated in hospital. One of the people rescued was found near the Petofi Bridge, which is about two miles south of Parliament.

The sunken boat, identified as the "Hableany" (Mermaid), was located early on 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, Metro UK reports.

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 the boat was serviced regularly and he had no information about any technical problems with the boat.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in has instructed officials to employ "all available resources" to support the rescue efforts in Hungary.

Mr Moon’s spokeswoman Ko Min-jung said in Seoul that Mr Moon also ordered the launch of a government task force led by foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha to deal with the accident and maintain close communication with the family members of the South Korean passengers.

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