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Monday, July 11, 2011

RUSSIAN BOAT TRAGEDY: Hundred feared dead in Volga boat disaster!

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  • Relatives arrive at a camp set up by Russia's Emergencies Ministry for victims of a ferry sinking near Kazan, in Russia - AFP
    Relatives arrive at a camp set up by Russia's Emergencies Ministry for victims of a ferry sinking near Kazan, in Russia - AFP.

    Russian divers scoured the murky Volga River on Monday as hopes dwindled of finding more than 100 people -- many of them children -- whose Soviet-era cruise ship went down in a heavy storm.
    Rescuers confirmed two fatalities after picking up some 80 people off the Bulgaria -- a 56-year old craft packed with about 150 tourists and more than 30 crew who were taking a traditional ride in a popular vacation spot.
    But rescuers said the 47 divers who had reached the stricken craft by nightfall had found few signs of life.
    "The results of the inspection show that the chance of us finding survivors are minimal," an emergencies ministry official in Moscow told the Interfax news agency.
    Survivors and other witnesses described a Sunday afternoon storm that suddenly made the two-deck boat tilt right in a wide bend of the river before it capsized and sank in a matter of minutes.
    Officials had initially placed their hopes on a string of 13 islets nearby that could have provided potential shelter for those who slipped into the current.
    But several weeping survivors draped in thick blankets described how they had been unable to save loved ones after climbing on board a nearby craft that had rushed to their rescue.


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