Hungarian rescuers were hunting for survivors yesterday after one of the country’s worst boat disasters that left seven South Korean tourists dead and 21 others still missing.
The Mermaid sightseeing boat capsized and sank in just seconds after colliding with a much larger passenger river cruise ship in driving rain on the Danube in the heart of Budapest on Wednesday evening.
Army boats were scouring the murky waters of the Danube as dozens of people looked on, with chances of finding survivors dimming 19 hours after the accident in the fast-moving river.
Thirty-five people were on board the 26-metre Mermaid when it collided with the Viking Sigyn “longship” near Hungary’s parliament building, most of them South Korean tourists including a six-year-old girl who remains missing.
Police said they have launched a probe into “criminal negligence” and were questioning the Ukrainian captain of the Sigyn.
In Budapest, army divers joined police in the search for survivors and victims, but the operation has been complicated by high water levels and a strong current after weeks of heavy rainfall.