Divers prepare to straighten Bulgaria ship on bottom – Emerg Min.

16/7 Tass 131

MOSCOW, July 16 (Itar-Tass) — Divers have ended the work on sealing the sunken Bulgaria passenger ship, the Emergency Situations Ministry’s press service told Itar-Tass on Saturday.

Now specialists are preparing the ship for straightening on the bottom, the press service said.

“All lifeboats have been regrouped and cranes have been installed. The special cranes, Moguchiy and KPL-351, have been placed according to the plan for lifting the ship – left and right in parallel of the sunken Bulgaria. As of 7 p.m. divers ended the work on sealing the ship,” the press service said.

In addition, cords have been fastened and now divers will straighten the ship on the bottom. “It is a long process. It will take not one hour,” an official of the ministry said.

After the ship is straightened and after all mechanisms and equipment are verified, specialists will begin raising the ship to the surface, the official said.

Earlier, Deputy Transport Minister Viktor Olersky said the ship could be begun lifting at 10 a.m. Moscow time on July 18.

Earlier in the day, the Tatar president’s presidential press service said preparations for raising the Bulgaria passenger ship to the surface were proceeding ahead of schedule.

Crane boats, which will raise the ship to the surface, will arrive at the site in the morning although they have been waited for at night (from July 16 to July 17), the press service said.

“Both crane boats have been installed at the scene and sealed using anchors. All ropes have been delivered on their board,” Olersky said.

At present, divers are setting up righting hooks beneath the MS Bulgaria fore and stern.

In parallel, the rescue operation continues. A total of 15 people are listed as missing. Rescuers of the Emergency Situations Ministry are submerging to the sunken Bulgaria ship and examining it and the bottom near the ship. The rescue operation continues in the area of Kuibyshev water basin, on the banks and islands by using lifeboats and aviation, including single-engine aeroplanes and hang-gliders.

Tatarstan has paid compensations to 38 relatives of those who died in the crash of the Bulgaria passenger ship, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Welfare’s press service reported.

“Material assistance has been also paid to 63 victims,” the press service said.

Tatarstan will pay material assistance to families of the dead who are not residents of the republic, the press service said.

Under the government’s resolution, the size of compensations will amount to 300,000 roubles to each family.

As of today 23 people, who are not residents of Tatarstan, are considered among the dead.

As for residents of the republic, whose relatives died in the incident, as of July 15 financial aid will be paid to 26 relatives of the dead. In addition, a total of 62 injured people also received material assistance. The total size of assistance will reach about 23-24 million roubles from the regional budget and 150 million roubles from the federal budget.

Those who received injuries will be provided from 50,000 to 100,000 roubles depending on the degree of injuries. Citizens who lost property will be paid 10,000 roubles.

The families of 26 victims of the MS Bulgaria wreck have received compensations from the budget of Tatarstan, the ministry said.

“As of 7:00 p.m. Moscow time, material aid had been paid to the families of 26 victims and to 62 people hurt in the shipwreck,” the ministry said.

Total compensations from the republican budget will near 23-24 million roubles, while the federal budget will contribute another 150 million roubles.

Up to 100,000 roubles will be paid to the injured depending on the degree of injuries. Some 10,000 roubles will be paid in compensation for property lost in the shipwreck.

The families of people who died in the MS Bulgaria wreck will get one million roubles each in compensation, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier.

“The families of the dead will receive one million roubles; people with heavy and medium injuries will be paid 400,000 roubles, while people with light injuries will have 200,000 roubles,” he said.

All the 114 bodies found on the MS Bulgaria wreck site in Tatarstan have been identified, the republican health ministry told Itar-Tass.

“A total of 114 bodies were brought to the Tatarstan forensic medical bureau: those of 28 children, 66 women and 20 men. All the bodies were identified,” the ministry said, adding that 111 bodies were transferred to families for burial.

The ship had 208 people aboard, but only 79 of them – 29 women, ten children and 40 men were rescued. Fifteen people are deemed missing.

The MS Bulgaria sank in a storm in the Kuibyshevskoye dam lake, three kilometres away from the shore, on July 10. The ship built in Czechoslovakia in 1955 titled to the right and sank within minutes.

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