Two dead, five missing after suspected boat collision on Danube in Hungary

BUDAPEST (Reuters) -Two people were killed and five others were missing after a suspected collision involving a small motor boat and a cruise ship on the Danube River north of Budapest late on Saturday, Hungarian police said.

The body of an adult man was found near the site, while that of a woman was recovered further downstream and disaster response units were still searching for the five missing people, police said on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the Budapest police, Soma Csecsi, said eight adults were aboard the small motor boat at the time of the suspected collision. The accident was reported on Saturday night after police talked to a man found with a bleeding head wound near the main road by the river near Veroce, 55 km (34 miles) north of Budapest.

“Police talked to the man and from his initial communication they drew the conclusion that he was probably the victim of some kind of boat accident,” Csecsi said.

The body of a man was recovered south of Veroce, while a woman’s body was found further downstream near a bridge on the northern outskirts of Budapest, where police also recovered the damaged motor boat, he said.

“At the time of the accident a cruise ship was located in the area, which was stopped at the town of Komarom where police have determined that the ship is damaged on one side,” he said.

Hungarian state media carried images of a moored 109-metre-long cruise ship identified as Swiss-based Heidelberg. It was not immediately clear how many people were on board or their nationalities.

Police have launched a criminal investigation against an unknown perpetrator to determine the cause of the accident. The goal of the investigation is to find whether anyone is criminally liable, Csecsi said.

(Reporting by Gergely SzakacsEditing by David Goodman and Susan Fenton)