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.
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