The Latest: Cruiser that capsized Hungary boat is released

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Latest on rescue efforts following the capsizing of a boat in Budapest (all times local):

1 p.m.

The South Korean foreign minister says the cruise ship that collided with a sightseeing boat packed with South Korean tourists, causing it to sink quickly in the Danube River, has been released and is on its way to Germany.

The captain of the cruise ship has been detained. He is a Ukrainian national suspected of endangering water transport leading to a deadly mass accident. There are seven confirmed dead and 21 more people missing. Seven others have survived.

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Kang Kyung-wha, the South Korean foreign minister, said Friday at a joint press conference with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto that the owner of ship has promised to fully cooperate with the investigation into the Wednesday evening collision.

Kang said, “we have seen the footage of a larger vessel ramming into a small boat in bad weather, causing the boat to sink.” She added that “if the investigation finds the ship’s owner responsible, there will be a thorough legal response over its fault.”

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12:20 p.m.

Hungary’s foreign minister says underwater visibility at the site in the Danube River where the sunken tour boat is located is “practically zero,” complicating efforts to salvage the wreck.

Peter Szijjarto said Friday after meeting his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, that the wreckage is more than 6 meters (20 feet) under water, with the Danube expected to keep rising because of rainfall.

Twenty-one people, including 19 South Koreans, are still missing after Wednesday’s collision. Seven people were rescued and seven are confirmed dead.

Szijjarto and Kang visited the site of the mishap, near the Hungarian parliament, before holding talks at the Foreign Ministry.

One of the bodies recovered was found nearly 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) downstream, nearly 2-½ hours after the collision.

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9 a.m.

Hungarian police have detained the captain of a cruise ship that collided with a sightseeing boat packed with South Korean tourists, causing it to sink quickly in the Danube River.

That development came as loved ones of the South Korean people who are missing and dead were expected to arrive Friday in Budapest.

Seven people are confirmed dead and seven have been rescued, while 21 people remain missing in the waters.

A South Korean group on a package tour of Europe — including 30 tourists, two guides and a photographer— were on an hour-long sightseeing tour of Budapest when their boat collided with a Viking cruise ship during a downpour Wednesday evening.

Nineteen South Koreans and two Hungarian crew members — the captain and his assistant — remain missing.

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