HUNGARY Boat Sink: SEVEN DEAD, 21 MISSING AFTER SOUTH KOREAN TOUR BOAT SINKS IN HUNGARY
Rescue workers scoured the Danube River in downtown Budapest yesterday for 21 people missing after a sightseeing boat carrying South Korean tourists sank in a matter of seconds after colliding with a larger cruise ship during an evening downpour.
Seven people are confirmed dead and seven were rescued, all of them are South Koreans, Hungarian officials said. Hungary’s Human Resources Minister Miklos Kasler said four of those rescued have been released from the hospital, while the remaining three are being treated in satisfactory condition. Police launched a criminal investigation into the incident.
The South Korea-based Very Good Tour agency, which organized the trip, said the boat — a 70-year-old vessel built in the former Soviet Union — had been on its way back after an hour-long night tour on Wednesday when the accident happened.
Nineteen South Koreans and two Hungarian crew members — the captain and his assistant — are missing. The tour party had consisted of 30 tourists, two guides and a photographer on a package tour of Europe.
The sunken boat was located early yesterday near the Margit Bridge, not far from the neo-Gothic Parliament building on the riverbank.
The video shown by Hungarian police showed the sightseeing boat, identified as the Hableany (Mermaid), traveling closely side by side and in the same direction as a German-built Viking cruise ship as they approached the bridge Wednesday night.
The Hableany then appeared to steer slightly to its left, into the path of the 135-meter (443-feet) long cruise ship, which continued to sail on at the same speed. The two collided and the sightseeing boat was then seen tipping on its side between the bridge’s two supports.
“As the Viking comes into contact with (the Hableany), it overturns it and in about seven seconds, as it turns on its side, it sinks,” Police Col. Adrian Pal said.