The Latest: Divers prep sunken Danube tour boat for hoisting

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Latest on the sunken tour boat in Hungary's capital (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

South Korean officials say divers in Budapest have begun preparing a sunken tour boat in the hope that a huge floating crane can lift it out of the Danube River.

Song Shun-keun, military attache of South Korea's embassy, said Wednesday that the hoisting procedure could begin within the next two days, adding that his country is sending more equipment to Hungary, including underwater drones, to help with search and recovery efforts.

The death toll of Wednesday's collision between a sightseeing boat and a river cruise ship stands at 13, with 15 mostly South Koreans still missing. Only seven people of the 35 on board the sunken vessel are known to have survived.

A floating crane able to lift 200 tons was on its way to Budapest, but its progress has been slowed by traffic on the Danube, as well as by the river's high water levels which could make it difficult for the crane to pass under some of the bridges across the river.


11:05 a.m.

Hungarian rescue officials say that another body has been recovered from a sunken tour boat in the Danube River.

Officials said the body was found Wednesday by divers in Budapest checking the wreck's condition ahead of its possible retrieval with a floating crane. No further details about the deceased were released.

The death toll now stands at 13, with 15 mostly South Koreans still missing.

Only seven people are known to have survived when the Hableany (Mermaid), collided with a river cruise ship a week ago. It capsized and sank in about seven seconds.

Seven of the 13 victims were found in the immediate aftermath of the accident. Since Monday, three bodies have been recovered from the sunken boat or near the scene of the accident at Margit Bridge and three were found much further south, including one recovered 132 kilometers (82 miles) downstream from Budapest.


9:50 a.m.

Hungary's state media say a huge floating crane that could lift a sunken sightseeing boat out of the Danube River is on its way to the accident site in Budapest.

Meanwhile, the confirmed death toll from last week's accident rose to 12, as police said Wednesday that a male body recovered far downstream was of one of the 33 South Korean tourists aboard the Hableany (Mermaid), when it collided with a river cruise ship, capsizing and sinking in about seven seconds.

Seven people were rescued and 16, including the two Hungarian crew members, remain missing.

Recovery efforts have been slowed by the Danube's fast flow, typically high springtime water levels and near-zero visibility underwater.

The floating crane, which can lift 200 tons, may reach Budapest by Wednesday afternoon.

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?