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May 30, 2019

Hungarian authorities search Danube following boat tragedy

Seven South Korean tourists died and some twenty are missing after a sightseeing boat crashed with a large river cruiser on the downtown Budapest stretch of the Danube.

The Hungarian authorities are searching the Danube today following a boat tragedy that has so far claimed seven lives.

Seven South Korean tourists died and some twenty are missing after a sightseeing boat crashed with a large river cruiser on the downtown Budapest stretch of the Danube on Wednesday night.

The smaller vessel – with a crew of two and 33 South Korean tourists on board – was on a routine sightseeing trip when it crashed with and was ran over by a 100 meter river cruise and sank in a few minutes.

Mihály Tóth, spokesman for the company operating the sightseeing boat said the vessel was in good maintenance condition and was equipped with all mandatory lifesaving gear.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by a Danube swell, cold water and pouring rain that reduced visibility. Due to unseasonably cold and wet weather, the temperature of the Danube in Budapest is around 11-12 degrees Celsius and hypothermia can quickly subdue even trained swimmers.

96 members of police and emergency services are searching for survivors and further casualties and staff of the South Korean embassy are assisting them in identification.

Photo credit: MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry