Hungary Detains Cruise Ship Captain Involved In Deadly Collision

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Budapest: Hungarian Police on Monday said they had detained the captain of a Swiss-registered cruise ship involved in a collision with a motorboat on the Danube over the weekend that killed two people.

Five people who were on the small motorboat before the accident occurred are missing, with authorities saying they were on Monday carrying out rescue efforts.

Police said in a statement that they had questioned the captain of the cruise ship and detained him on suspicion of multiple offences following the accident.

The captain is suspected of "failing to alert the crew of his own vessel following the accident, failing to implement the rescue protocol, failing to take any action to rescue persons in need of rescue and failing to stop the vessel," it added.

Authorities also said they had interviewed 25 people as witnesses, including members of the cruise vessel's crew, passengers and others.

On Saturday night, a man had been found with a bleeding head injury near the village of Veroce, 55 kilometres (34 miles) north of the capital Budapest.

He was suspected of having been involved in a "river accident, possibly a boat accident", with police immediately searching the area.

The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered as well as a damaged small motorboat, which was brought to shore.

The motorboat had been carrying "eight adults, five of whom -- three men and two women -- are still being actively searched for as missing", police spokesperson Soma Csecsi told a press conference on Sunday.

Authorities also said they had determined that a cruise ship had been in the area at the time of the accident.

Police later stopped a cruise boat with visible hull damage near the town of Komarom, further upstream.

The Hungarian Telex news site identified the cruise ship as the Swiss-registered, two-storey Heidelberg, and reported that police were inspecting the vessel.
According to the report, the approximately 110 passengers on board were being questioned by police.

The cause of the accident was unclear.

Authorities have initiated criminal proceedings on the suspicion of endangering water traffic, resulting in multiple deaths.

In May 2019, Hungary's worst boating accident in more than half a century saw two vessels collide on the Danube in Budapest, killing 25 South Korean tourists and two Hungarian crew members.


The Peninsula

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