More bodies found as vessel is raised in Hungary


Four more bodies have been recovered after salvage crews raised the wreck of a tourist boat that sank on the Danube in Budapest last month.

A floating crane raised The Mermaid to the surface, allowing divers to enter.

The boat was carrying South Korean tourists when it was hit by a cruise ship and capsized, killing 20 people and leaving eight missing.

Recovery efforts by Hungarian and South Korean teams have been hampered by high water levels in the Danube.

Footage from the scene on Tuesday morning showed the cabin and upper deck of the boat emerge from the water and divers carry out a search for victims still trapped inside.

The four bodies recovered have not been formally identified, but they are believed to be those of the boat’s Hungarian captain and three South Koreans including a six-year-old girl – the only child to die in the accident.

The boat is raised to the surface. 11 June 2019
Image captionHoists lifted the boat and then water was pumped out from the hull

The rest of the 70-year-old boat was then slowly brought to the surface with pumps removing water from the hull to stabilise it, and lifted on to a barge.

One of the divers, Zoltan Papp, said attaching straps to the hull of the boat had been difficult because visibility in the muddy, fast-flowing river had been as low as 10cm (4in) at times.

“It was like being in heavy snowfall or fog,” he told Reuters news agency.

At one point in Tuesday’s operation, a member of the recovery crew fell into the swollen river and had to be rescued by colleagues.

Another four people are believed to still be missing. After the ship was raised, a police spokesman said search efforts would be doubled to find them.


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