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Hungary tourist boat accident: Bodies found as vessel is raised

Hungary tourist boat accident: Bodies found as vessel is raised


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Media captionSalvage crews help raise the tourist boat to the surface

At least two bodies have been recovered from the wreck of a tourist boat that sank on the Danube in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, last month.

Divers entered the boat as a floating crane slowly brought it to the surface.

The Mermaid was carrying South Korean tourists when it was in collision with a cruise ship and capsized, leaving 20 people dead and eight others missing.

Recovery efforts have been hampered by high water levels, made worse by heavy rain.

Footage from the scene showed the cabin of the boat emerge from the water and divers then carry out a search for victims still trapped inside. At least two bodies were seen to be removed.

The operation is expected to take several hours. It is not known how strong the hull of the 70-year-old boat is following the collision, salvage experts say.

The Viking Sigyn cruise ship struck the Mermaid just after 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT) on 29 May as both vessels passed under the Margit Bridge.

Seven people were rescued and seven bodies quickly recovered but many of those on board the Mermaid were swept away in the swollen river.

The bodies of other victims were recovered in the following days, with one pulled from the Danube more than 100km (60 miles) downstream. Nineteen South Korean tourists and a Hungarian crewman are known to have died.

Viking Sigyn's captain, named as 64-year-old Ukrainian national Yuriy C, has been detained on suspicion of reckless misconduct in waterborne traffic leading to mass casualties.

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