Hungary commemorates victims of 2019 Danube boat catastrophe

AP – Commemorations began yesterday in Hungary for the first anniversary of an accident on the Danube River in which over two dozen South Korean tourists died after their tour boat collided with a river cruise ship.

At least 25 out of 33 South Korean tourists died when the Hableany (Mermaid) boat capsized and sank on the night of May 29, 2019. The boat’s two-man Hungarian crew also died, while a female South Korean tourist is still missing.

In a ceremony organised by the operators of the Hableany, a wreath was lowered into the water from a boat near the site of the catastrophe, close to the Hungarian neo-Gothic parliament in Budapest.

Later, an official memorial with the participation of authorities from Hungary and South Korea will be held on the banks of the Danube, by the foot of the Margit Bride, where the Hableany was hit from behind and practically pushed underwater in a few seconds by the Viking Sigyn river cruise ship.

The cruise ship’s captain is on trial for his alleged responsibility in the crash, but court sessions have been postponed until at least September because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Representative from Panorama Deck Shipping Company pause after laying a wreath during the commemoration for the victims of the capsized Hableany sightseeing boat at the Pest embankment of Margaret Bridge in Budapest, Hungary. PHOTO: AP