KUIBYSHEVSKY ZATON (Tatarstan), July 11 (Itar-Tass) — The official death toll of the sunken Bulgaria ship has risen to eight, the regional Emergencies Ministry told Itar-Tass.
“According to the ministry, as of 08:00 MSK eight dead bodies, including two men, one child and five women, have been recovered from the water,” head of the Tatarstan Republic’s emergencies department press service Marat Rakhmatullin said.
Divers were working at the tragedy scene throughout the night, now there are 40 of them working there, head of the Volga regional emergencies centre Igor Panshin said earlier.
“The sunken tourist ship is being turned from one board to another by the river current and the fuel is leaking from the fuel tanks” that impedes the search operation, Panshin said. However, the divers “succeeded to bring the light to the restaurant rooms and the holds, where dead people are seen.”
“The divers have made eight descents for the past night. The current top priority is to search at the music hall, where many children were staying,” Panshin said.
Speaking on the causes of the tragedy the chief of the Volga regional emergencies centre noted that he has “only the testimony of the eyewitnesses, who said that the vessel developed a strong list on the starboard in an attempt to change the route and was flooded by high waves.” “The ship has been keeping afloat for about eight minutes,” Panshin pointed out.
The Bulgaria tourist ship had 185 people aboard, 79 people were saved, eight died, and the fate of the rest is unknown. According to preliminary reports, six people were ticketless. The ship’s carrying capacity was no more than 120 people, according to the regulations.
The ship wreckage victims will be brought to Kazan, Panshin said.
The search area was enlarged to 25 kilometres down the Volga River, as the initial search zone was 20 kilometres down the river, he noted.
Panshin also said that he had no information about the two ships, which, according to witnesses, allegedly passed the tragedy site without providing any help.