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Hungary arrests cruise ship captain involved in Danube collision

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary arrested the captain of a Switzerland-based cruise ship involved in a collision with a small motorboat on the Danube on Saturday evening that killed two people and five others remain missing, a police announced on Monday.

The accident was reported on Saturday evening after a 35-year-old man was found with a bleeding head wound near a main riverside road near Veroce, 55 km (34 miles) au north of the capital Budapest.

The body of a man was found downstream, south of Veroce, while that of a woman was found further downstream, near a bridge in the northern suburbs of Budapest, where police also recovered the damaged motorboat.

Hungarian police said the captain of the cruise ship was a Czech national and that they had questioned and detained him on suspicion of several offenses, including failing to stop and failing to helped him after an accident.

“Based on the police’s suspicions, the captain did not alert his crew after the accident, did not follow the provisions of the rescue protocol and took no action to save those affected,” it said. the police said in a press release.

Police interviewed 25 people as witnesses, including the cruise ship crew, tourists on board and others.

The search continued on Monday for the five missing people, all of whom were on board the motorboat, including an 18-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man.

On Sunday, a Reuters news team saw the Heidelberg cruise ship docked in Komarom, a town north of the Danube, upstream from the collision site, with large scratches visible on the bow.

A group of Chinese tourists arrived on Sunday afternoon. One of them told Reuters he was not aware of any accident at the time.

(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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