BUDAPEST, Hungary – The Latest on salvage efforts at site of sunken tour boat in Hungary’s capital (all times local):
Hungarian officials say exploratory dives have begun in the Danube River in attempts to recover any bodies still in the sightseeing boat that sank last week carrying Korean tourists.
Janos Hajdu, head of Hungary’s Counter-Terrorism Center, says that the river’s speed has slowed slightly but it is still very hard for divers to move in it. He added that Hungarian divers aren’t allowed to enter the sunken boat.
Twenty-one of the 35 people aboard are still missing, with seven confirmed deal and seven rescued. The Hableany (Mermaid) collided Wednesday night with a large river cruise ship at Budapest’s Margit Bridge, capsized and sank in about seven seconds.
Hajdu said the wreckage was located nine meters (29 ½ feet) deep, about 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches) lower that previously reported by the government.
Hajdu added that a floating crane able to lift 200 tons and which would be able to hoist the boat out of the water is expected at the scene within days.
Preparations for salvage efforts of a sunken tour boat in the Danube River have resumed in Budapest.
A diver could be seen Monday morning entering the water from a pontoon in the river, holding on to a ladder in the river as other adjusted his air hose and other equipment.
The Danube’s fast flow, its high springtime water levels and near zero visibility under water have prevented divers from reaching the sunken boat so far.
The boat carrying South Korean tourists capsized and sank Wednesday night after colliding with a much larger river cruise ship near the Hungarian Parliament building.
Seven of the 35 people on board have been rescued, with seven confirmed fatalities and 21 people, including 19 South Koreans and the two Hungarian crew members, still missing.
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