22/7 Tass 410
MOSCOW, July 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The upper deck of the MS Bulgaria has been lifted fully, Timur Khikmatiov from the lift supervisory staff told Itar-Tass.
“The Bulgaria upper deck has been lifted fully; it is three to four meters above the water,” he said.
Transport Minister Igor Levitin visited the MS Bulgaria wreck site on Friday to see the progress of the lifting operation, a source at the Transport Ministry press office told Itar-Tass.
“The transport minister visited the town of Kuibyshevsky Zaton to chair a meeting of the governmental commission investigating the Bulgaria wreck,” he said.
The minister listened to the reports of the Interior Ministry, the Emergency Situations Ministry and head of the Bulgaria lift supervisory staff, Deputy Transport Minister Viktor Olersky.
The lift was suspended earlier in the day for balancing the burden on cranes. Soft cables with the width of four centimeters are being placed under the sunken ship.
Olersky said that the Bulgaria would be taken to shallow water for pressurizing the starboard and pumping out water. The shallow water is 40-50 meters away from the wreck site, he said.
The Bulgaria must be lifted for learning shipwreck causes, Levitin said earlier in the day. He said that was important for future safe shipping.
Divers examined the Bulgaria while it was still lying on the riverbed, the minister said. Once lifted, the ship will be towed to a dry dock for further examination.
It is planned to raise the sunken ship 1.5 meters above the water before pressurizing the starboard and pumping out water.
The MS Bulgaria sank in a storm in the Kuibyshevskoye dam lake, three kilometers away from the shore, on July 10. The ship built in Czechoslovakia in 1955 titled to the right and sank within minutes. The death toll has reached 114. In all, there were 201 people aboard, some of them unregistered. Seventy-nine were rescued. Eight are still missing.