Negligence and incompetence to blame for Bulgaria shipwreck – investigation

Investigators have concluded their probe into the cause of the Bulgaria riverboat tragedy that killed 122 people.

They blame negligence and an incompetent crew. In particular, the investigation points the finger at the ship’s owner and its captain.

The Bulgaria sank after water entered the vessel through open windows during a storm. Safety regulations require windows to be closed during bad weather.

When the boat tilted, around 50 tons of water came gushing inside in under a minute. Investigators also found four holes on the right side of the boat.

The ship’s owner and the official who certified the Bulgaria as fit for purpose have been arrested.

The Transport Agency is now conducting an internal check to see if any of its employees are culpable.

The “Bulgaria” sank during a pleasure cruise on the Volga River. Of 201 people onboard, 122 died when the ship went down in a matter of minutes. There were 28 children, 72 women and 22 men among the victims.

A criminal case was launched against the captains of two freighters that failed to take part in the rescue of people from the “Bulgaria” on June 10, the day she sank.

The captains of both ships are suspected of abandoning a ship in distress. Two other people have already been charged with criminal negligence in connection with the incident.

A check-up on cruise ships following the Volga River tragedy found out that 90 percent fail to meet basic safety requirements. The most common violations are missing or faulty life-jackets and no flares in the lifeboats.

After a thorough check-up, 23 vessels were banned from operating as passenger ships, and prosecutors initiated 66 administrative cases against boat owners. More checks will be carried out in other regions.

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