Memorial event held on Danube River for crew of sunken boat


The urn containing the ashes of the sailor of the sunken boat is placed from a ship into River Danube by a ship’s captain during the funeral ceremony of the two Hungarian victims of the boat accident last May in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, July 12, 2019. They were the two crew members of a tourist boat carrying 33 South Korean tourists that was crashed by a large river cruise ship and sank in River Danube at a pier of Margaret Bridge in Budapest on May 29, killing 28 people. The remains of the captain of the boat will be buried on the land later. Seven Korean tourists survived the accident. (Szilard Koszticsak/MTI via AP)

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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — More than a dozen vessels took part Friday in a memorial ceremony for the two-man Hungarian crew killed in a collision when a tour boat with South Korean tourists sank after colliding with a cruise ship on the Danube River.

During the solemn commemoration, an urn with the ashes of a 53-year-old sailor was placed in the river not far from the scene of the May 29 crash in downtown Budapest, amid tolling bells, the blowing of the vessels’ horns and a salvo of rifles.

The remains of the 58-year-old captain of the Hableany (Mermaid) will be buried later in a private ceremony.

Onlookers paid their respects to the victims by tossing flower petals into the river and lighting candles. A large wreath was also put in the water in memory of the 26 South Koreans killed in the mishap.

Only seven South Koreans survived the wreck and the body of one of the tourists has yet to be recovered.

The 64-year-old Ukrainian captain of the Viking Sigyn cruise ship is the only suspect so far. He was released on bail but must remain in Budapest while wearing an electronic tracking device while Budapest police continue their investigation.

The Hableany was raised out of the Danube by a huge floating crane on June 11 and later inspected by police investigators. The owners of the Hableany said the sightseeing ship would be retired from activity because of the damage it suffered in the collision but also out of respect for the victims.

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