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Sunken boat in Budapest raised and four remains found

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Christian Fernsby |
Sunken boat
Hungary   Sunken boat

The Hungarian sightseeing boat carrying Korean tourists that tragically sank in the Danube River in Budapest nearly two weeks ago was salvaged Tuesday, leading to the immediate discovery of four more missing bodies.


The Hableany, which sank near Margaret Bridge in the Danube River in Budapest, was lifted by a large floating crane, the Clark Adam, after operations to fasten four cables to the hull of the vessel were completed the previous day.

Hungarian authorities began lifting the wreck around 6:40 a.m. local time. The wheelhouse of the boat could be seen above the surface of the water within half an hour and the deck and cabins were in view within two hours.

The Hableany, or Mermaid, carrying 33 Korean tourists and two Hungarian crew capsized on the evening of May 29 after it was struck by a larger Swiss ship, the Viking Sigyn, helmed by a Ukrainian captain. Seven survivors were rescued immediately after the sinking and seven bodies recovered.

Efforts to recover the missing 19 have taken place over the past 13 days, and 11 were recovered, including a Hungarian crew member. Ahead of the salvage operation Tuesday morning, seven Koreans remained missing along with the captain of the vessel.

Three bodies suspected to be Korean victims were discovered by divers in the boat’s cabin area less than two hours into the lifting of the wreckage, according to the Hungarian Counter Terrorism Centre (TEK) and the joint rapid response team.

The three bodies were found minutes of each other, a little after 8 a.m., and included a body presumed to be a child, the Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

Another body suspected to be the Hungarian captain was found in the wheelhouse.

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