Timelapse captures sunken Budapest tour boat being pulled out of Danube River

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A large floating crane, barges and rescue personnel were working early on Tuesday morning at Margaret Bridge, where the Mermaid sightseeing boat sank on 29 May after colliding with a river cruise ship.

Dozens of tourists from South Korea were killed alongside two crew members in what was described as the worst disaster in 50 years on the river. Pumps were used to remove water from the hull and the rest of the tourist boat was slowly brought to the surface. Two divers were sent in to search and discovered a body believed to be the Hungarian captain, officials said.

The barge was to be handed over to police as part of their investigation into the nighttime collision, which took place during heavy rain.

Nineteen South Koreans and a Hungarian crewman have been confirmed dead, with eight people missing.

The lifting operation began at around 6 am (0400 GMT) and six hours later the Mermaid tourist boat was nearly entirely out of the water.

The lift is planned in several stages, depending, for example, on the condition of the hull as the boat is raised off the river floor and also on whether any bodies are found in the wreckage.

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Salvage crews have begun the operation to raise a tourist boat that sank on the Danube in Budapest last month.

Footage from the scene on Tuesday showed a floating crane slowly winching the boat to the surface.

Seven people were rescued and seven bodies quickly recovered but many of those on board the Mermaid were swept away in the swollen river.

Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the accident and the captain of the river cruise boat which collided, the Viking Sigyn, has been arrested on suspicion of "endangering waterborne traffic resulting in multiple deaths".

Meanwhile, Budapest police said they would again inspect the Viking Sigyn, the cruise ship involved in the collision, which sailed on shortly after the crash but was back in Hungary, docked Monday at the northern town of Visegrad.

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