4 more bodies found as sunken tour boat raised from Danube

Erika Holt
June 14, 2019

As giant floating crane stands in its lifting position, as mourners bring flowers and candles at the bank of Danube river on Monday in Budapest.

"The boat will soon be liftable", Jasenszky said, adding that the process of lifting the boat, which lies around 9 meters (29½ feet) below the surface, could start early Tuesday but would not take place in darkness.

Seoul's foreign ministry announced on Wednesday that the government response team will enter the boat to search for additional victims at around 5 p.m. Korea time, and vowed to work hard until all the bodies are recovered.

The Mermaid sank after a Viking cruise ship collided with it on May 29 as both vessels passed under Margit Bridge in central Budapest.

Among the 20 dead, seven were South Korean tourists.

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The Mermaid, a Hungarian boat which sank in the Danube River near Margaret Bridge, is lifted from the water during a salvage operation in Budapest, Hungary, on June 11, 2019.

The bodies of two other tourists were found last week as crews prepared to lift the boat out of the river. Those missing include a six-year-old girl as well as the Mermaid's Hungarian captain. One of the four is believed to be the boat's captain. According to most recent reports, 19 South Koreans were killed and seven more are still missing.

Once fully out of the water, the wreck of the Mermaid will be taken to a secure location and examined by police, who have launched a criminal investigation.

The captain of the second boat involved in the collision, cruise liner Viking Sigyn, is being held on suspicion of misconduct in waterborne traffic leading to mass casualties. Numerous tourists were from South Korea.

Larger river cruise boats travelling on the Danube between Germany and the Black Sea typically spend several days moored in the capital.

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