More bodies found as Hungary lifts sunken tourist boat from river

first_imgBudapest: Hungarian police recovered more bodies on Tuesday as they lifted a sightseeing boat that sank in the river Danube in Budapest last month in an accident that has claimed at least 24 lives. 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. The lifting operation began at around 6 am (0400 GMT) and six hours later the Mermaid tourist boat was almost entirely out of the water. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Early on in the operation, police were seen by an AFP photographer at the site removing four bodies from the vessel. Several dozen rescue workers could be seen taking part in the operation, including members of a team sent from South Korea. The Mermaid was carrying mostly South Korean holidaymakers when it capsized and sank on the evening of May 29, just seconds after colliding with a bigger river cruise boat on a busy stretch of the river. Those on board included a six-year-old girl travelling with her mother and grandparents, and the Mermaid’s Hungarian captain. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaOnly seven of the 35 people on board are known to have survived the accident, with the prospect of finding any more passengers alive seen as practically zero. Hungarian police, who are leading the salvage operation, initially estimated the lifting operation would take around six hours, but work is expected to continue well into the afternoon. Temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and strong river currents have slowed the operation, which has been stopped several times. At one point, one member of the rescue crew fell into the fast-flowing water and had to be rescued after almost being swept away. Divers have periodically been entering the vessel to search the bodies of any victims still inside. Damage was visible to the rear part of the Mermaid where the collision occurred. Since the accident divers had been unable to enter the submerged boat due to the strong current in a river swollen from weeks of rain. The salvage crew instead focused on fixing wire harnesses underneath and around the vessel to prepare it for hoisting by a crane mounted on a barge.last_img