The salvaged wreck of the Hableány pleasure boat may still hold more victims, the head of Hungary’s counter-terrorism force TEK, which handled the salvage operation, told a press conference. The boat will be searched for the remaining bodies by the police, János Hajdu said. He said the wreck had a thick layer of river mud inside it which could still hold more bodies. However, if no more victims are found, it is likely they fell out of the boat at the time of the collision, Hajdu said, adding that the interior ministry has doubled its search efforts along the Danube. He thanked every organisation that had taken part in and contributed to the recovery and salvage operations over the past 13 days. He also expressed his gratitude to the Austrian, Czech, Norwegian and German organisations that assisted the operations as well as the South Korean divers and consultants. Hajdu also hailed the “objective and fair press coverage” of the disaster and its aftermath. With the Hableány lifted from the Danube, he said, TEK’s work in connection with the disaster is finished and the case will now be taken over by the Budapest Police Headquarters.
Song Sun-geun, South Korea’s defence attaché accredited to Budapest, said every effort will be made to find those still missing after the disaster. The attaché thanked the interior ministry, the Hungarian government, TEK, the Hungarian people, the Czech, Austrian and Norwegian governments, civil groups, the Korean embassy and Korean companies for their contribution to the recovery efforts. Song also thanked Slovakia for supporting the operation by helping to speed up the lowering water levels of the Danube. He also thanked Serbia and Romania for their continued assistance in the search for the remaining victims. and Hajdu for his work in overseeing the operation.
In response to a question, Song said Korean authorities had wanted to inspect the inside of the wreck, but the Hungarian authorities had nod allowed it. Only a search dog was allowed inside, but it did not find any bodies, he added. Asked what the hardest part about the salvage operation had been, the attaché said the language barrier had posed the greatest difficulty because there were not enough interpreters on hand.