Efforts to recover the bodies of at least 20 South Korean tourists who drowned two weeks ago in the collision of a cruise ship on the Danube began today.

The ship carried 35 South Korean tourists when it collided with a large cruise ship under the famous Margaret Bridge in the Danube.

The collision took place two weeks ago, on May 29. Seven of the South Korean tourists were rescued safely shortly after the collision, with 20 of the tourists killed and another eight missing. Only this morning divers succeeded in extracting at least four bodies, one of them the Hungarian captain of the ship, and another 3 South Korean tourists, including a 6-year-old girl who was the only girl on the vessel.

Budapest divided by Danube river
Budapest divided by Danube riverFlash 90

Strong currents and rising Danube tides have made recovery operations difficult in the past two weeks. Only in recent days have Hungarian and South Korean divers worked together to connect the ship's side to cables and today a crane managed to lift it above water, with thousands of Budapest residents standing on the famous bridge watching the rescue efforts. It is estimated that at least twenty other bodies are trapped in the wreckage.

According to some tourists who managed to escape the sinking ship, the strong Danube current swept away some of the tourists who drowned and had no chance. One of the bodies was pulled from the Danube River more than 100 km from the ship's sinking site, the worst disaster on the Danube in the last 50 years.

Danube River
Danube RiveriStock