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Hopes fade for tourists missing after fatal boat sinking on River Danube

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By Philip Pangalos
Hopes fade for tourists missing after fatal boat sinking on River Danube

Hopes of finding more survivors after the fatal sinking of a tourist boat in Budapest are fading fast as rescue divers continue their search for missing passengers and crew in the River Danube.

Rescue workers were searching a vast length of the River Danube on Thursday for 21 South Korean tourists and Hungarian crew members still missing after a sightseeing boat collided with a larger ship and sank within seconds.

"I announce that in the tragic accident on Wednesday night, seven injured were taken by ambulance to the emergency units of three hospitals, where they were treated by doctors," said Miklós Kásler, Hungary's minister of Human Resources.

Seven other people are confirmed dead. Police launched a criminal investigation into the collision, which happened during a torrential downpour. The sunken pleasure boat's Hungarian captain has been arrested and is being questioned by authorities.

The South Korea-based Very Good Tour agency, which organized the trip, said the boat had been on its way back after an hour-long night tour when the accident happened.

The sunken boat was located near the Margit Bridge, not far from Hungary's neo-Gothic riverside Parliament building.

But rescue operations were hampered by the rain and the fast flow of the rising river. The search for the missing extended far downstream, even into Serbia, where the Danube flows after leaving Hungary.