BUDAPEST – South Korea’s foreign minister said on Friday in Budapest she hoped rescue teams would still find survivors of a deadly boat accident that happened on the Danube earlier in the week.
Kang Kyung-hwa said she hoped “all those affected” by the incident would be found, “whether dead or alive,” following a meeting with her Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto.
Kang was in Budapest in response to the accident, which has claimed the lives of at least seven South Korean tourists.
She said the tragedy caused the kind of pain that words couldn’t express and her country was cooperating with the Hungarian authorities in order to find those still missing and identify remaining victims.
The “Sirena” vessel, with 33 South Korean passengers and two Hungarian crew members on board, sank after colliding with a much larger cruise ship late Wednesday.
So far, seven people have been saved and seven bodies have been recovered from the river that runs through the city.
Various rescue teams, including Austrian and Korean units, are still searching for 21 people who are missing.
The Hungarian minister said the rescue efforts would need more resources and that preparations were underway to get the boat out of the Danube.
“The conditions are very difficult and dangerous,” said the minister, adding that the water level was high following days of rain.
That also meant that river currents were strong and visibility under the water was severely hindered.
The captain of the “Viking,” the vessel with which the smaller tourist boat collided, was arrested and questioned on Thursday evening, Budapest police said in a statement.