Europe

Hungary tourist boat accident: Body found five days on

A military vessel on the Danube River Image copyright EPA
Image caption Rescue workers preparing to search the wreckage for bodies

A body has been pulled from the Danube, more than 100km (60 miles) downstream from Hungary's capital, Budapest, after Wednesday's boat crash on the river.

In Budapest, divers tried to examine the wreck of the tourist ship which sank after being hit by a cruise ship.

The Mermaid was carrying South Korean tourists; the bodies of seven of them were recovered on the night of the disaster and seven were rescued alive.

Nineteen South Koreans and two Hungarians are missing, presumed dead.

The body found on Monday has not yet been formally identified, but it appears to be that of a South Korean man, reports say.

A flood prevented rescuers from entering the river earlier. Many of the bodies are believed to still be trapped inside the wreck.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tributes have been laid on the river bank

Local media say several bodies were spotted in the river over the weekend.

Rescue crews, including Hungarian and South Korean divers, have been hampered by high water levels, inflated by heavy rain.

Janos Hajdu, director-general of Hungary's Counter-Terrorism Centre who leads the recovery operation, described it as "very dangerous" with "zero visibility", since the Danube's water levels were higher than they had been at the time of the accident.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha previously told the Korea Times that rescue workers had been unable to mount underwater operations due to strong river currents.

According to Magyar Nemzet newspaper, more than four bodies were seen in a section of the Danube over the weekend.

Reconnaissance dive

South Korea sent its own recovery team which joined the operation on Monday.

"Today [Monday], diving is not about attempting to enter the ship, but for understanding the situation first," the team said in a statement.

Teams from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria are also at the scene. Norway has sent specialist sonar equipment.

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Media captionThe tour boat sank seconds after a collision with another vessel

The Viking Sigyn cruise ship hit the Mermaid after 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

Most of those onboard the tourist ship were aged between 40 and 50, but the group also included a six-year-old child and a man in his 70s, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Viking Sigyn's captain, identified 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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