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                        Hungarian police said on Thursday they have launched a criminal investigation into one of the country's worst boat accidents that left seven South Korean tourists dead and 21 others missing.

                        The "Mermaid" sightseeing boat sank late Wednesday on the Danube river in the heart of Budapest after colliding with a larger vessel in pouring rain.

                        "A criminal investigation has been launched. Police are investigating at the scene," police colonel Adrian Pal told a news conference.

                        Rescue workers swarmed to the banks of the Danube in Budapest after a river cruise boat capsized © GERGELY BESENYEI Rescue workers swarmed to the banks of the Danube in Budapest after a river cruise boat capsized

                        Police showed security camera footage from a bridge that showed the two boats colliding.

                        "It sank within seven seconds," Pal said of the Mermaid.

                        Heavy rain in the past few weeks has left the Danube swollen, and the current stronger than usual.

                        pmu-jza/txw

                        ? Agence France-Presse

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