|Page (1) of 1 - 07/10/11||email article||print page|
Passenger boat sinks on Russia's Volga River, 1 dead, 15 missing
MOSCOW (AP) ' A passenger boat sank on the Volga River in central Russia Sunday, killing at least one person, injuring two and leaving 15 missing, officials said.
Regional emergencies ministry spokesman Marat Rakhmatullin said the boat sank in the middle of the river in the Tatarstan region, about 450 miles (750 kilometers) east of Moscow. He said a woman drowned and her body was delivered to a hospital.
The spokeswoman for the ministry Irina Andrianova 135 passengers and 47 crew were onboard when the double-decker went down some 3 kilometers (2 miles) away from the nearest bank. The depth at the site was 20 meters (65.62 feet).
Andrianova said in televised remarks that 15 people are still missing.
The Volga, Europe's largest river in terms of length and discharge, is up to 30 kilometers (19 miles) wide. The river is a popular tourist destination, especially in summer months. Most of Russia's largest cities are located along its banks.
More than 80 passengers were picked up by a passing ship, many others have made it to the beach on improvised rafts or were rescued by emergency workers.
The boat, called Bulgaria, was made in late 1950s in Czechoslovakia and belongs to a local tourism company. It was going to the regional capital, Kazan from the town of Bulgar.
A tourism expert said the lack of partitions inside the Bulgaria made it vulnerable to breaches.
"It case of an accident these ships sink within minutes," Dmitri Voropayev, head of the Samara Travel company told the Ria Novosti news agency.