Procedure begins to raise sunken Bulgaria from Volga River bed

Russian emergency crews began on Thursday night the operation to bring the sunken cruise ship Bulgaria to the surface of the Volga river in Tatarstan, an official said.

“Work has started to separate the ship from the riverbed, after which they will lift it a little, seal it and pump the water out,” operational headquarters spokesman Timur Khikmatov said.

It was not clear how long the operation would take. It had been postponed several times in the past few days, due to difficulties in attaching lifting gear to the vessel’s hull and keeping it upright.

The ship sank on July 10, with the death of at least 114 passengers and crew. Seventy-nine people were rescued.

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