Many missing due to Russian Volga River incident

by William ASTON on July 11, 2011

In excess of 100 people remain missing and are feared dead due to a tourist boat sinking on Russia’s Volga River.

Dozens were rescued after the Bulgaria started sinking in the Tatarstan region, which is around 750km east of Moscow. Thus far, just two deaths have been confirmed. Over 180 passengers and crew had been travelling on the Bulgaria, a boat which was sailing from Bulgar to the region’s capital, Kazan.

As it got dark, any already-slim hopes of being able to find survivors faded as the rescue operation was also blighted by bad weather. Mechanical failures aboard the aged craft, as well as overcrowding, are the two main reasons being thrown around by experts speculating on why the boat sank.

Nearly 50 Russian divers had been scouring the infamously murky river on Monday morning amid vanishing hopes any survivors could be found. A ministry spokeswoman based in Moscow told how recent results of an on-going inspection show how the chances of finding survivors are minimal.

The Bulgaria, which is a 55-year-old vessel believed to be the property of a local tourism company – had been on a two-da-long cruise when it started encountering difficulties at around 1400 on Sunday afternoon. According to a correspondent, it started plummeting into the sea within minutes.

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