Captain in Danube River cruise ship accident goes on trial

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The cruise ship captain whose vessel collided with a small tour boat last May — causing the death of 28 people — has gone on trial in Budapest, Hungary.

The accident was the worst in more than 30 years on the Danube, the second-longest river in Europe.

The captain of the Vikyn Sigyn cruise ship, Yuri Chaplinsky, denies wrongdoing. Chaplinsky has worked on the river for 40 years, 30 of those as a captain.

The collision occurred during a rainstorm on a swollen Danube, further exacerbated after weeks of heavy rain. While seven of the 35 onboard the Mermaid were saved, others were swept away via strong currents. The boat sank quickly after the collision.

One of the 28 people who died remains missing. Twenty-six of those killed in the disaster were South Korean.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, relatives of those who perished were unable to make the trip for yesterday’s hearing from South Korea. 

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