At least seven people have been confirmed dead and nearly 20 remain missing after a tourist boat carrying South Korean passengers and two crew members capsized in the Danube River in Budapest on Wednesday (May 29) night.
The incident took place in the capital Hungary when a sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean tourists and 2 crew members collided with another tourist boat due to the heavy rainstorm that had developed heavy currents in the water. The vessel sank in the river near the Hungarian parliament complex at downtown Budapest.
According to the reports, the sunken boat was located near the Margit Bridge during the wee hours of Thursday. The rescue officials recovered 14 people from the river, out of which seven has been declared dead. The rescued seven people were quickly shifted to a hospital as they are suffering from hypothermia but are now stable, said Pal Gyorfi, spokesman for the National Ambulance Service.
National police spokesman Kristof Gal said 33 South Koreans were on the boat after early reports mentioned 32. South Korea's Foreign Ministry later confirmed that 33 of its citizens were on the boat and said 19 were still missing. The two crew members were identified as Hungarian, reports AP.
The South Korean President Moon Jae-in has issued an emergency instruction to deploy all possible means to support the rescue operations at the Danube in co-operation with the Hungarian government. He has also ordered a government task-force led by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha to be in contact with the family of the South Korean tourists
The South Korean Embassy in Budapest were assisting Hungarian officials in identifying those rescued and the deceased during the boat accident.
The sunken sightseeing boat identified as Hableany (Mermaid), was a 27-m (89-ft) double-decker river cruise boat with a capacity to carry 60 people, said Mihaly Toth, a spokesman for the Panorama Deck Ltd.
"We are mobilizing every resource we have to protect human lives," he told the state media.