Seven dead and many missing after boat capsizes in Budapest - [color=red]UPDATED[/color]
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  • 02:49 30 May 2019

Seven dead and many missing after boat capsizes in Budapest - UPDATED

At least seven people have died and 19 are missing after a boat capsized on the Danube river in Hungary's capital Budapest, state media reported, ONA reports citing BBC.

Thirty-three people, mostly tourists from South Korea, were on board the boat when it was hit by another vessel while moored, the MTI news agency said.

The incident occurred at about 22:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

The Danube river, a popular draw for tourists, had swelled due to heavy rainfall, causing strong currents.

The boat that sank was identified as the "Hableany", or Mermaid. The vessel has two decks and a capacity of 45 people for sightseeing trips.

South Korea's foreign ministry confirmed that 19 Koreans were missing, and said the government planned to send a team of officials to Hungary.

A large rescue effort continued into the early hours of Thursday, with boats, divers, spotlights, and radar scanning along the river several kilometres downstream.

Rescue teams warned that as more time passed the strong currents would carry people further downstream, lessening the chances of finding survivors.

The National Ambulance Service was conducting searches downstream from the central Budapest area and boat traffic was halted on the entire Danube south of Budapest, Reuters news agency reported.

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At least three people are reported dead and 16 are missing after a tourist boat capsized in the Danube in Budapest with dozens of people on board. Hungarian state news agency MTI and other media reported that a rescue effort was under way, ONA reports citing The Guardian.

The boat, moored near the parliament building, reportedly overturned after being struck by another tourist vessel. The river had been flooded with strong currents as a rainstorm enveloped Budapest.

MTI said the boat was carrying 34 people, mostly tourists from Asia. State television said there were 32 tourists and two crew on board. A police spokeswoman and the disaster units spokesman could not immediately comment.

The news website Index.hu cited the boat’s owner as reporting that the boat, called Mermaid, had sunk.

Rescue efforts were under way on Wednesday night, with more than a dozen vehicles visible several hundred metres downstream from the site of the accident. Eighteen people were accounted for, state media reported, citing authorities. At least one tourist had to be revived, the National Ambulance Service told the state news agency.

Television footage showed the Pest bank of the Danube closed off by police, directly across from the World Heritage site of Buda Castle.

The police had ordered all shipping to stop on the Danube in central Budapest, they said in a statement.

Faig Mahmudov

Tags: boat capsizes Budapest

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