23/7 Tass 158
MOSCOW, July 23 (Itar-Tass) — Investigators have proved identity of a sunken man found in the Volga River, near Ulyanovsk, downstream the site where the Bulgaria pleasure cruiser sank, Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told on Saturday.
The man has been identified and he has no relation passengers or crewmembers of the sunken MS Bulgaria, Markin said.
“At present, the operation continues to tow the Bulgaria ship to shallow waters and transport to the shore where it is awaited by experts who are preparing to examine it,” Markin said.
Earlier, spokesman for the response centre Timur Khikmatov told Itar-Tass by telephone that the cruiser “has begun to be towed to shallow waters of the Kirelskoye Zaton. The speed of the convoy is of three kilometres per hour”.
According to Khikmatov, it will take about 4-6 hours to transport the vessel to shallow waters.
The official told Itar-Tass that a decision on transporting the vessel to shallow waters had been taken by the emergency response centre because this was the securer and technological variant.
The operation to raise the sunken ship in Russia’s central republic of Tatarstan started a week ago, but has been hampered by weather and technical complications. It was only on Friday that engineers successfully detached the stern of the ship and its bow from the sticky mud of the riverbed.
Only 79 people survived the sinking of the Bulgaria, which was carrying 201 people on the day of the catastrophe. Eight bodies are still missing. On Saturday, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said the bodies of six women and two men are being sought and confirmed that no children are among the missing.
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.