KAZAN, July 14 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday laid flowers at the memorial to the people who died last Sunday during the wreckage of The Bulgaria cruise liner in the middle reaches of the Volga River.
Upon arrival in the airport of Kazan, the capital of Russia’s constituent republic of Tatarstan he went straight to the city’s river port where The Bulgaria had departed from on her last – and fatal – cruise.
Putin laid a bouquet of red roses to the memorial that has been put up spontaneously by the local residents. People have been coming to it all throughout the past few days and laying candles, flowers and children’s toys in memory of the victims of the hair-raising tragedy.
President Rustam Minnihanov of Tatarstan attended the ceremony.
The Bulgaria motor ship, built in Czechoslovakia in 1955 and upgraded the last time in 1980, sank during a two-day return cruise to the olden town of Bolgar on the Volga Sunday, July 10.
The accident occurred during a storm in the middle of the huge Kuibyshevsky water reservoir 3 kilometers away from the shore.
Investigators established later that the ship had left the port of Kazan with one of the engines malfunctioning.
During the storm, the vessel listed to the starboard and sank within several minutes.
It had 208 persons aboard, almost 40 persons more than its technological capacity admitted of and some of the passengers were not registered properly during embarkation.
A total of 79 people, including ten children were rescued.
The latest data speaks of 113 dead, including 27 children. At the same time, sixteen people are still listed as missing.