7 killed as tourist boat capsizes in Budapest

BUDAPEST -- Seven people died and several others are still missing here in Budapest after a Hungarian tourist boat with 34 people on board sank on Wednesday evening, according to official sources.

"We have transported seven people to the hospital, they are in stable condition, and our colleagues have confirmed the death of seven people, their resuscitation sadly did not succeed," Pal Gyorfi, spokesperson of the national ambulance service, said in a press conference held on the banks of the Danube.

According to the Hungarian news agency MTI, the majority of the passengers were tourists from Southeast Asia.

The sunken boat was the 'Hableany' (Mermaid in English), a 27-meter-long double decker with a capacity of 60 people. It has still not been discovered.

The Hungarian police said the first report of the accident had been received at 9:15 p.m. local time, and that the search and rescue mission had begun downstream of the Margit Bridge.

The area has been closed by the police, and several divers were searching in the 15-degree Celsius waters, according to the national television.

An expert diver interviewed by the national television said that chances to find survivors after four to 10 minutes in such conditions were minimal, and the local media expected the death toll to rise.

Following heavy rain, the current of the Danube River is very strong. (Xinhua)