Russian watchdog: Bulgariya sinking caused by safety violations, crew

MOSCOW, Aug 15 (PRIME) — The investigative commission of Russias Federal Transport Oversight Service has determined that the causes of the July 10 sinking of the riverboat Bulgariya were severe safety violations and an inadequately trained and poorly disciplined crew, the service said in a statement Monday.

The investigation also revealed that the ships captain did not properly inform a dispatcher about the planned voyage, despite a storm warning. Moreover, the crew failed to close the riverboats portholes after it entered the Kuibyshev Sea, as stipulated by standard safety regulations.

The commission also said that the riverboat had sailed with a 4-degree list to starboard as a result of several leaks on the starboard-side of the boats hull.

Built in 1955, the double-decked Bulgariya sank while traveling to the constituent republic of Tatarstans capital, Kazan, from the nearby town of Bolgar. The sinking killed 122 people of the 208 on board. The boat underwent an extensive renovation 30 years ago, and was given a clean bill of health following a recent safety inspection.

Preliminary reports on July 11 indicated that the Bulgariya departed from Bolgar severely overloaded, with a faulty engine, and a significant list to starboard.


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