A large tour boat has capsized on the Danube River in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. This tragic accident has left seven South Korean tourists dead and at least 19 more are missing after. The boat itself was moored when another vessel unexpectedly collided with it at about 22:00 local time on Wednesday night. In total, thirty tourist and three tour guides, as well as two Hungarian crew members, were onboard during the incident.
There are confirmed reports that seven people have sadly lost their lives in the accident. A further seven people were pulled from the wreckage and a huge search and rescue operation is currently continuing on a river. However due to heavy rainfall, the river is swollen, making it ever more difficult to conduct any search missions. The Danube, which is a popular location for tourists, had been experiencing strong currents due to the rain, which is most likely what caused the collision in the first place.
So far, little has been released in regards to details about the accident but hopefully that will change and more is discovered. Here is everything that is known at the moment though. The capsized boat sank near the parliament building in central Budapest and has been formally identified as the Hableany, or Mermaid in English. It has a total capacity of 45 people spread across two decks and it is most often used for sightseeing trips. Nothing is known as of yet, about the second vessel which collided with the Hableany, though.
While there is of course plenty of speculation, officials are still actually investigating what caused the incident on the Danube, which is an extremely rare occurrence these days. The head of the Hungarian National Shipping Association, Imre Horvath, has said that he believes it was down to a human error and had nothing to do with the boats or whether. Pal Gyorfi, a spokesman for Hungarian emergency services, has however confirmed that seven people were successfully pulled from the water and taken to hospital with hypothermia and shock symptoms. Hopefully they will all pull through and can be reunited with their families very soon. It was unclear whether they were tourists, tour guides, or crew members.
Boating incidents resonate with South Korea and will do for a very long time due to the 2014 Ferry disaster where over 300 South Korean people died, almost all of which were children on a school trip. Therefore any boating accident tends to bring up memories of this, which can be extremely traumatising.
In a statement, South Korea’s foreign ministry confirmed that seven of its citizens had been killed and 19 are still unaccounted for. It continued to say that the government plans to send a team of officials to Hungary and that counselling would be made available to victims’ families. It is reported, by the tes fek agency behind the group’s tour, that at least one child was among those still missing. The pain of not knowing anything must be excruciating for the friends and family of everyone who hasn’t been found yet.
As with any tragic accident, our thoughts and prayer go out to all those who have been affected.