Hungary shares the Republic of Korea’s grief and will fully cooperate to uncover the circumstances of the boat collision on the River Danube that claimed seven lives on Wednesday evening, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said in a statement on Thursday.
Szijjártó said he was “shocked” to learn of the disaster in which a sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean tourists and two Hungarian crew members capsized and sank near the Parliament building.
“Our heart goes out to the grieving family members, and we wish the rescuers strength and endurance in carrying out their duties,” he said. The authorities are doing everything possible to recover any survivors and to reveal the cause of the accident, as well as determining any possible responsibility, he said.
Kang Kyung-wha, South Korea’s foreign minister, will meet Szijjártó at the site of the collision on Friday.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in called Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán by phone and asked him to ensure that Hungarian authorites do their utmost to find the South Koreans reported missing in Wednesday’s ship collision on the river Danube in central Budapest, South Korea’s presidential office reported.
In his call, the president thanked the Hungarian authorities for their rescue efforts.
Earlier on Thursday, the president ordered an operative team to be set up in connection with the accident, in which at least 7 South Koreans died, and 21 were reported missing. The 18-strong team, headed by the South Korean foreign minister, is scheduled to arrive in Budapest on Thursday, accompanied by a 13-strong rescue team of mostly divers.
Hableány, the Hungarian sight-seeing boat that sank in the river Danube after the collision, was carrying 35 people including a crew of two. Most passengers were in their 40s, but there was also a six-year-old child and a man in his 70s, a South Korean ministry official reported.
Meanwhile, the Hungarian interior minister has received South Korea’s ambassador to Hungary in his office. Sándor Pintér has expressed his condolences to Choe Kyoo-Sik and briefed him on circumstances of the accident and steps taken in the rescue operations.