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Cruise Ship

MS Heidelberg

Incident Type

Ship Collision / Allision

Date of Accident

May 18, 2024

Location of Accident

Danube River near Budapest, Hungary

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Introduction

A tragic collision on the Danube River near Budapest has resulted in the deaths of two individuals, with five more currently missing. The accident, involving a small motorboat and the cruise ship MS Heidelberg, occurred on the night of May 18, 2024, prompting a large-scale search and rescue operation.

Details of the Incident

The incident unfolded when a small motorboat collided with the MS Heidelberg. Hungarian disaster response teams, involving 95 personnel and 25 vessels, supplemented by drones, have been deployed along the Hungarian section of the Danube to search for those missing. The aftermath of the collision was first suspected when a man with a head injury was found near Veroce, leading to the discovery of two bodies downstream.

Operational Context

The MS Heidelberg, which sustained noticeable hull damage from the incident, has been detained in Komarom as investigations continue. Authorities are meticulously examining the circumstances that led to this severe accident, including reviewing traffic on the river and the actions taken by the crew of MS Heidelberg at the time of the collision.

Casualties and Emergency Response

The immediate response to the accident involved multiple emergency services coordinating to recover victims and provide medical treatment where necessary. The bodies recovered were found south of Veroce and near a bridge on the northern outskirts of Budapest. The extensive search efforts for the missing individuals continue under challenging conditions.

Legal Proceedings and Investigations

A criminal investigation has been initiated to determine the cause of the collision and to assess any potential criminal liability. The focus is on how two vessels on such a well-traveled waterway could have come into such a disastrous contact, and what preventive measures could be enforced to avoid future incidents.

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