BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday he had asked for a thorough investigation into a boat accident on the Danube River in central Budapest that killed at least seven South Korean tourists this week.
“One is shaken by this … an accident happened where passengers had almost no chance for survival,” Orban told state radio, offering condolences to relatives of the victims.
“I have asked the authorities to carry out a strict and thorough investigation,” he said.
Hungarian police said late on Thursday they had taken into custody the captain of a cruise ship involved in the accident.
The boat was cruising when it collided with a larger luxury passenger boat during a rainstorm on Wednesday evening, causing it to capsize and sink with 33 South Korean tourists and tour guides and two Hungarian crew aboard.
Seven South Koreans were rescued, seven died, and 19 South Koreans were among the 21 people still missing. Hungarian rescue officials said on Thursday there was little chance of finding survivors.
South Korean rescue teams and officials including South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha arrived in Budapest on Friday. She will hold a news conference with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto at 0730 GMT.
A crane ship was docked near the wreck in preparation for recovery operations. Police have said the rescue efforts were hampered by high water levels, strong currents and bad visibility.
(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Paul Tait and Edmund Blair)