Hungary: Danube ship captain goes on trial over deadly crash

World Wednesday 11/March/2020 16:08 PM
By: Times News Service
Hungary: Danube ship captain goes on trial over deadly crash

The trial against a river cruise ship captain got underway in Hungary on Wednesday over his involvement in a deadly collision on the Danube River last May that killed 27 people.

The Ukrainian captain, identified as Yuri C., has been charged with negligent endangerment of water traffic leading to a fatal mass catastrophe. He is also charged with 35 counts of failing to give assistance.

"For at least five minutes ... the defendant failed to focus on steering the ship, including locating other possible vessels under the bridge," prosecutor Miklos Novaki told the court.

The Viking Sigyn collided and sank a much smaller ship. Prosecutors say the captain had not been paying attention to his duties.

Who were the victims?

Most of the fatalities were South Korean tourists, and two Hungarian crew members also lost their life. The crash occurred in Budapest at the Margit Bridge, near the parliament building. One South Korean tourist is still missing.

The sunken boat was not pulled from the Danube until last June, when South Korean divers aided in the retrieval of bodies.

The captain of another ship is also being investigated on separate charges. The person, whose identity was not released, is suspected of failing to offer assistance to the Viking Sigyn as it sank.