Published: Wed, June 12, 2019

More bodies found as Budapest tour boat salvage work begins

More bodies found as Budapest tour boat salvage work begins

The wreckage is set to be placed on another boat, which will be handed over to police for an investigation.

Police were seen removing another four bodies from the vessel while four people are still missing about two weeks after the tragedy, the worst such incident in Hungary in 75 years.

Hungarian special forces spokesman Nandor Jasenszky said divers had fixed the straps and made all the necessary checks. Early on in the operation, divers removed four bodies from the vessel.

Four bodies were recovered as the Hungarian police on Tuesday began lifting a river cruise boat that sank on Danube river in Budapest last month, BBC reported. Several of the victims found before Tuesday were discovered along the Danube, dozens of kilometres south of the Hungarian capital.

On May 29, a river cruise boat with 35 people on board capsized and sank seconds after colliding with another vessel on Danube river. During the operation, divers periodically entered the vessel to search for bodies of any victims still inside.

The lift is planned in several stages, depending, for example, on the condition of the hull as the boat is raised off the river floor and also on whether any bodies are found in the wreckage. It is not known how strong the hull of the 70-year-old boat is following the collision, salvage experts say.


The plan involves lifting the Mermaid with the floating crane and placing it on a long barge.

A floating crane raised the boat from waters beneath the Margit bridge in downtown Budapest, live TV footage showed.

Efforts to search for the missing victims and to raise the Mermaid have been hindered by the Danube's high springtime water levels, its fast flow, and near-zero visibility under water.

The Viking Sigyn, which left Budapest less than 48 hours after the collision with the Hableany, is back in Hungary on a scheduled trip and docked at the town of Visegrad, north of Budapest.

The cruise ship's captain - identified only as Yuriy C.in line with Hungarian laws - has been under arrest since June 1, suspected of endangering water transport leading to a deadly mass accident.

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