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Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 21:06
Hungarian tourist boat salvaged, 2 weeks after fatal accident
By Reuters
Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 21:06 By Reuters

A picture taken on June 11, 2019 shows the giant floating crane on the Clark Adam ship lifting the sunken Mermaid sightseeing boat during the operations to pull it out of the Danube river in Budapest. (GERGELY BESENYEI / AFP)

BUDAPEST — Hungarian salvage crews recovered four bodies on Tuesday as they raised the wreck of a boat from the Danube River in Budapest, two weeks after it capsized with a group of South Korean tourists on board.

The four victims found inside were being identified, and search teams had been doubled to try to find four others who remained unaccounted for

The Mermaid boat sank in seconds on May 29 after a large cruise liner hit it from behind under a bridge in the Hungarian capital during heavy rain. Twenty-six tourists and two Hungarian crew died in the worst disaster on the river in half a century.

READ MORE: Hungary: Death toll rises to 15 in Danube tour boat crash

The four victims found inside were being identified, and search teams had been doubled to try to find four others who remained unaccounted for, police spokesman Kristof Gal told reporters.

Crews lifted the Mermaid onto a barge that will take it to Csepel, an industrial port in south Budapest.

Receding floodwaters had allowed the salvage crews to raise the vessel after two weeks of often arduous work in strong currents and poor visibility.

"We finished underwater work yesterday," Industrial diver Zoltan Papp told Reuters. "I was the last one to dive... Some days we could see ... just 10 centimetres. It was like being in a heavy snowfall or fog."

A body is carried away during the recovery operation, June 11, 2019 at Margaret Bridge, the scene of the fatal boat accident in Budapest, Hungary. (BALAZS MOHAI / MTI VIA AP)

The captain of the second boat involved in the collision, cruise liner Viking Sigyn, is being held on suspicion of misconduct in waterborne traffic leading to mass casualties.

Police have identified him as 64-year-old C. Yuriy from Odessa, Ukraine. His lawyers said he is devastated but did nothing wrong. 

ALSO READ: Hungary PM seeks thorough probe into fatal boat accident

The liner's owner, Swiss-based Viking Cruises Ltd, has said it is cooperating with Hungarian investigators. 


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