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Deadly Sinking Happened in Just 7 Seconds

Captain of Danube cruise ship arrested
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 31, 2019 4:30 AM CDT
People gather at the Margit bridge as they watch rescue crews at work after a vessel capsized in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019.   (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
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(Newser) – Hungarian police have detained the captain of a cruise ship that collided with a sightseeing boat packed with South Korean tourists, causing it to sink quickly in the Danube River in Budapest. Seven people have been confirmed dead, while 21 people remain missing in the fast-flowing river. A South Korean group on a package tour of Europe—including 30 tourists, two guides, and a photographer—were on an hour-long sightseeing tour of Budapest when their boat collided with a Viking cruise ship during a downpour Wednesday evening. Nineteen South Koreans and two Hungarian crew members—the captain and his assistant—remain missing. Police said it took just seven seconds for the boat to overturn and sink.

Survivors have given accounts saying they were lucky to grab onto a drifting lifeboat while looking in horror as others around them struggled in the dark, rainy waters, shouting for help, the AP reports. Their small sightseeing boat had completed its tour and was almost at a stop when the larger cruise ship hit it under a bridge near the riverbank parliament building. They said about 20 people were on the deck taking photographs or preparing to disembark. The others were in the cabin. "I saw that big cruise ship coming closer to us but I had never imagined it would ram our boat," said a 31-year-old South Korean woman surnamed Jeong. The captain of the larger vessel, a 64-year-old Ukrainian man, is suspected of endangering water transport leading to a deadly mass accident, police say.

(Read more Hungary stories.)

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