Tourist boat capsized in Budapest
Photo: MTI

Seven South Korean victims of Wednesday evening’s Danube ship collision have been identified on the basis of fingerprints and palm prints, the National Police Headquarters spokesman has told public news channel M1.

Kristóf Gál said on Saturday that they had presented photographs to the relatives of the victims during the identification process and South Korean authorities were on hand to help.

Meanwhile, the spokesman said police helicopters had not been deployed in the rescue operation due to poor weather.

Police helicopters equipped with night vision did not receive take-off permission either from Liszt Ferenc International Airport or from the Bácsbokod airport, he said.

Tourist boat capsized in Budapest
Sonar photo of the wreck. Photo: MTI/VMSZ

Interviewed by M1 was a policeman, Richárd Virág, who was the first to arrive at the scene of the disaster. He said on Wednesday at 9.10pm a message on the police boat’s radio said that people had been spotted in the river between Margit Bridge and Parliament.

He said they arrived within five minutes, where a man in the water near Chain Bridge shouted for help.

In a state of shock and suffering from hypothermia, he was lifted into the boat together with a woman who was lifeless. They attempted to resuscitate the woman and called for an ambulance. He added that the oily state of their clothes and the large waves impeded the rescue.

Gál told MTI that the first water police units arrived at the scene at 9.15pm, while the first units on land arrived at 9.19pm.

Police are continuing their search of the entire Danube riverbed south of Budapest.

At the weekend, the main task is to build a containment structure allowing divers to work on the wreck, M1 reported.

For that matter, the Budapest municipal court has ordered the Ukrainian captain of the cruise ship which collided with a sightseeing boat in central Budapest earlier this week to be remanded in custody for the duration of one month, the Budapest prosecutor’s office said on Saturday.

The court ruled, however, that payment of bail set at 15 million forints (EUR 46,000) would allow the suspect to wear a tracking device and remain under police supervision in Budapest.

The 64-year-old captain of the Viking Sigyn cruise ship was questioned under suspicion of causing the disaster and detained late on Thursday.

A Budapest municipal court said in a statement on Saturday afternoon that the prosecutor had submitted an appeal against the bail request. If bail is approved and the suspect posts it, then he will have to wear a tracking device and must not leave Budapest, the statement added.

The suspected crime carries a prison sentence of 2-8 years. “An investigation is still under way,” the statement said.

The captain’s lawyer said on Friday that the suspect had submitted a complaint against the charge and denied any violation of the regulations or of committing a crime.

Source: MTI

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