A sightseeing boat carrying at least 32 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest, near the Margit Bridge, not far from the neo-Gothic Parliament building, early Thursday.
The tourists were on a six-country tour of Eastern Europe that included visits to Croatia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, as well as a nighttime cruise on the Danube. The incident occurred at about 22:00 local time (20:00 GMT). Seven people were confirmed dead and at least 20 were missing. Seven people were rescued and hospitalized in stable condition. The two crew members were identified as Hungarian. The river was fast-flowing and rising as heavy rain continued in the city.
Dozens of rescue personnel, including from the military and divers, were involved in the search. "Hableany" vessel (or Mermaid), owned by the Panorama Deck boating company, was on a "routine city sightseeing trip" when the accident happened. "Hableany" has two decks and a capacity for 60 people, or 45 for sightseeing cruises. The boat was serviced regularly. Rescue effort continued with boats, divers, spotlights, and radar scanning along the river several kilometres downstream. Speaking at a press conference in the South Korean capital, Seoul, a spokesman for the travel agency behind the group's tour, Lee Sang-moo, said that at least one child was among the missing.