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article imageHungary boat tragedy 26th victim confirmed

By AFP     Jun 28, 2019 in World

Hungarian police said Friday they had identified the 26th victim of the sinking last month of a Budapest tourist boat carrying South Korean passengers.

The Mermaid capsized seconds after colliding with a bigger river cruise vessel on a busy stretch of the Danube in the heart of the Hungarian capital on May 29.

Thirty-five people, all of them South Koreans except for the Hungarian captain and a crew member, were on the boat when it sank. Only seven South Koreans survived.

The 26th victim, a female, was identified after the discovery of a body last Saturday in Budapest several kilometres south of the accident site, police said in a statement, adding that two South Koreans were still missing.

Hungarian police say the search for the missing along the Danube river from the accident site to the southern border with Serbia is the largest ever search operation mounted in Hungary.

The Ukrainian captain of the larger vessel, the Viking Sigyn which collided with the Mermaid, is under investigation by a team of 60 detectives on suspicion of "endangering waterborne traffic resulting in multiple deaths".

According to local media reports of the investigation the 64-year-old captain, identified only as Yuriy C., may have broken shipping rules by failing to alert the Mermaid crew before the Viking overtook the smaller vessel.

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