Divers broaden search area for cruise ship victims

Divers are substantially expanding the search area for the bodies of those who perished in the fatal sinking of the Bulgaria riverboat, the press service of the President of Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan said on Tuesday.

“The search area will be increased by 190 kilometers downstream in the Volga, and salvage teams will be beefed up today,” the President’s office said.

The confirmed death toll from the tragedy rose to 100 on Wednesday, with the fate of 29 passengers as yet unknown.

The ship was carrying 208 people, including 99 women, 43 children and 66 men, the Emergencies Ministry says.

A total of 90 bodies recovered have been identified by their relatives, the forensics bureau of the republic of Tatarstan said on Wednesday.

Over 1,000 people are working at the accident site including 195 divers.

The twin-deck river cruiser Bulgaria sank on the Volga River on Sunday at 01:58 PM Moscow time (09:58 GMT) near the village of Syukeyevo in the Kansko-Ustinovsky district of the Republic of Tatarstan.

The ship, built in 1955 and renovated 30 years ago, had no license for carrying passengers and had a number of safety faults, including a broken engine and a list to starboard as well as being grossly overloaded.

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