Three dead, 16 missing as Hungarian river boat capsizes on Danube
By Marton Dunai BUDAPEST (Reuters) - At least three people died and sixteen were missing after a tourist boat capsized on the Danube in the Hungarian capital on Wednesday with dozens of people aboard, and a rescue effort was underway, state news agency MTI and other media reported. The boat was reportedly hit by another tourist vessel near the Hungarian parliament building, then turned over on the river, which has been flooding, with very strong currents, while a rainstorm enveloped Budapest.
By Marton Dunai
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - At least three people died and sixteen were missing after a tourist boat capsized on the Danube in the Hungarian capital on Wednesday with dozens of people aboard, and a rescue effort was underway, state news agency MTI and other media reported.
The boat was reportedly hit by another tourist vessel near the Hungarian parliament building, then turned over on the river, which has been flooding, with very strong currents, while a rainstorm enveloped Budapest.
News web site Index.hu cited the boat's owner as saying the boat - the Mermaid - had sunk. Reuters could not immediately verify the information about the victims.
MTI said the boat carried 34 people - mostly Asian tourists plus crew. State television said there were 32 tourists and two crew on board.
A police spokeswoman and the disaster units spokesman could not immediately comment.
Rescue efforts were under way, with dozens of vehicles visible several hundred metres downstream from the site of the accident, which happened shortly before 10 p.m. (2000 GMT).
Eighteen people were accounted for, with three dead and sixteen missing, state media reported, citing authorities.
At least one tourist had to be revived, and several people needed treatment, the National Ambulance Service told state news agency MTI.
Television footage showed the bank of the Danube closed off by police on the Pest side, across from the World Heritage site of Buda Castle.
Police ordered all shipping to stop on the Danube in central Budapest, it said in a statement.
The Danube's flooding and currents made rescue efforts extremely difficult, a rescue diver told the state broadcaster, adding that the waters of the Danube were only about 10-12 degrees Celsius (50 to 54 Fahrenheit).
The boat was a 27-metre (89-foot) double-decker which can hold 60 people and was equipped with a 150-horsepower engine, its owner, Panorama Deck Ltd., told MTI in a statement.
"We are mobilising every resource we have to protect human lives," they added.
The Mermaid had been in their fleet since 2003 and received regular maintenance, they said.
(Reporting by Marton Dunai and Krisztina Than; Editing by James Dalgleish)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.