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Cruise ship captain arrested after fatal collision on the River Danube

Flowers are placed near the site of a ship accident, which killed several people, on the Danube river in Budapest, Hungary, May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Flowers are placed near the site of a ship accident (Picture: Reuters)

The captain of a cruise ship involved in a fatal collision with a tourist boat in Budapest has been arrested.

At least seven people have died after the crash, with a search and rescue operation continuing for 21 people.

Hungarian Police said the 64-year-old Ukrainian cruise ship captain is suspected of endangering water transport leading to a deadly mass accident.

CCTV footage shows the 442ft Viking Sigyn cruise ship colliding with the 89ft Mermaid on the busy thoroughfare in Budapest.

It happened close to the Parliament building, amid torrential rain in the Hungarian capital.

The sightseeing boat, which was carrying South Korean tourists, sank in a matter of seconds after the collision.

epa07612481 The Dunaujvaros military ship of the Hungarian Army's demolition expert warship regiment at Margaret Bridge during the search operation on the River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, 30 May 2019, following a collision of a hotel ship and a smaller cruise ship on the previous evening. The cruise ship sank with thirty-three South Korean passengers and two Hungarian staff on board. At least seven people died and twenty-one are missing. The shipwreck has been found at Margaret Bridge. EPA/BALAZS MOHAI HUNGARY OUT

The Dunaujvaros military ship during the search operation on the River Danube (Picture: EPA)

Hungarian counter terror police divers and technical teams are seen on boats on the Danube river on May 30, 2019 in Budapest during the operations to pull out of the water the "Mermaid" sightseeing boat that sank overnight after colliding with a larger vessel in pouring rain. - Hungarian police launched a criminal investigation into one of the country's worst boat accidents that left at least seven South Korean tourists dead and 21 others missing. (Photo by Attila KISBENEDEK / AFP)ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

Hungarian counter terror police divers and technical teams (Picture: AFP)

In line with Hungarian laws, the suspect was identified only as Yuriy C, referencing his first name and the initial letter of his last name.

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The South Korea-based Very Good Tour agency, which organised the trip, said the boat – a 70-year-old vessel built in the former Soviet Union – had been on its way back after an hour-long night tour on Wednesday evening when the accident happened.

Nineteen South Koreans and two Hungarian crew members – the captain and his assistant – are missing.

The tour party had consisted of 30 tourists, two guides and a photographer on a package tour of Europe.

Pal Gyorfi, spokesman for the National Ambulance Service, said seven people rescued were in hospital in a stable condition.

The sunken boat was located early on Thursday near the Margit Bridge, not far from the neo-Gothic parliament building on the riverbank.

Video displayed by Hungarian police showed the sightseeing boat, identified as the Hableany (Mermaid), travelling closely side by side and in the same direction as the Viking cruise ship as they approached the bridge on Wednesday night.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Xinhua/REX (10264883b) Rescuers search for the wreck of a passenger boat Tourist boat sinks in River Danube, Budapest, Hungary - 30 May 2019 A ship, the "Hableany" (Mermaid) carrying 33 South Korean tourists and two Hungarian crew collided with another vessel, a large Swiss hotel boat (Viking) and sank in the Danube . At least seven died in the accident.

Rescuers search for the wreck of the passenger boat (Picture: Rex)Read More – Source

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