Published: Tue, June 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Hungarian tourist boat salvaged, two weeks after fatal accident

Hungarian tourist boat salvaged, two weeks after fatal accident

Eight people are still missing from the May 29 collision between the Hableany (Mermaid) sightseeing boat and the Viking Sigyn river cruise ship at Budapest's Margit Bridge.

Police were seen removing another four bodies from the vessel while four people are still missing about two weeks after the tragedy, the worst such incident in Hungary in 75 years.

Rescue officials said Sunday that preparations for the lift, including divers installing four wire harnesses under the Hableany (Mermaid), were almost complete, with some technical and security details pending.

Nineteen South Korean tourists and a Hungarian crewman are known to have died. The Mermaid tourist boat was carrying mostly South Korean holidaymakers when it capsized and sank seconds after colliding with a bigger river cruise boat on a busy stretch of the river on May 29.

Divers entered the sightseeing boat as a floating crane slowly brought it to the surface. Only seven of the 35 people aboard were rescued.

Gal said the tour boat would be taken on the barge to nearby Csepel Island, where it will be examined by Budapest police as part of their investigation of the crash.


After lifting much of the top of the Hableany to the river's surface, rescuers could be seen adding another wire strap to the back of the boat as water was being pumped out of the boat's hull.

A police spokesman said Monday that the lifting operation could take six hours, and will be phased to allow divers to search the vessel for any victims still inside.

Rescue officials said Sunday that preparations for the lift, including divers installing four wire harnesses under the Hableany (Mermaid), were almost complete, with some technical and security details pending.

Search and recovery efforts have been complicated by the Danube's high springtime water levels, its fast flow and near-zero underwater visibility.

The cruise ship's captain - identified only as Yuriy C.in line with Hungarian laws - has been under arrest since June 1, suspected of endangering water transport leading to a deadly mass accident.

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