March 11, 2020 / 8:05 AM / a month ago

Hungary begins trial of Ukrainian captain involved in 2019 Danube crash

BUDAPEST, March 11 (Reuters) - A Hungarian court began the trial on Wednesday of a Ukrainian boat captain involved in a crash on the Danube River in Budapest last year that killed 25 Korean tourists and two Hungarian crew, the worst accident in more than half a century on the river.

The Mermaid boat sank in seconds in May 2019 after a large cruise liner hit it from behind under a bridge in the Hungarian capital during heavy rain. Seven survivors and 27 casualties were recovered from the Danube; one woman is still missing.

Prosecutors said the captain, 64-year-old Yuri Chaplinsky from Odessa, failed to pay sufficient attention and did not focus on steering the ship for several minutes in the evening hours of May 29, amid torrential rain and heavy flooding. (Reporting by Marton Dunai Editing by Peter Graff)

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