Seven South Korean tourists died and 21 others were missing after a sightseeing boat capsized and sank on the Danube in Budapest, Hungarian and South Korean officials said Thursday. The accident happened near the parliament building in the heart of the Hungarian capital after a collision with a larger river cruise boat during torrential rain around 09:15 pm (1915 GMT) on Wednesday, according to officials.
A total of 33 South Koreans were on board, Seoul’s foreign ministry said, confirming the seven dead were Korean. The youngest was a six-year-old girl, travel agency officials said. The 26-metre tourist boat, called the “Mermaid,” was also carrying two Hungarian crew members. “Our services have recorded the death of seven people,” Pal Gyorfi, a spokesman for Hungarian emergency services, said early Thursday morning. “Seven people have been taken to hospital in a stable condition with hypothermia and shock symptoms,” Gyorfi added.
A further 21 people are missing,” a Hungarian police spokesman Kristof Gal told AFP. “Police are searching the river throughout the entire length of the Danube in Hungary south of where the incident took place,” he said.Heavy rainfall since the beginning of May has led to high water levels and a fast-moving river current, complicating rescue efforts. The accident happened on a popular part of the Danube river for pleasure trips, from where passengers can view the city and parliament building illuminated at night.
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