A ship owned by Viking River Cruises crashed into and sank a small tour boat during a storm in Budapest, Hungary last night, May 29, leaving 7 South Koreans dead and 21 still missing, of which a 6-year-old girl. The 135-m long Viking Sigyn collided with the 27-m long Mermaid on Danube River and under Margit Bridge (near the Parliament building) amid torrential rain in the port city.
The Viking ship appears to hit Mermaid from behind, before the small Soviet-era ship, which was carrying 35 people, spun sideways on impact. Mermaid then capsized prior to sinking in just 7 seconds on a fast-moving stretch of the Danube which has swollen during heavy downpours throughout the month.
Seven passengers are in a stable condition in a hospital though suffering hypothermia from the frigid water that was around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). One person was found 2 miles from the scene of the crash. Rescuers said the chances of finding further survivors was 'minimal'.
Hungarian police launched a criminal investigation into the boat accidents. Officers questioned the Ukrainian captain of Viking Sigyn, but no details were released. Officials from the country said a total of 33 South Koreans were onboard with none wearing life jackets. South Korea is sending its own rescue workers to Budapest to support rescue efforts.