Death toll of Russian ship sinking reaches 113

13:27, July 15, 2011      

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A total of 113 people, including 27 children, have been confirmed dead after Sunday's ship sinking tragedy in the Volga River, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said on Thursday.

As of 15:00 Moscow time (1100 GMT), divers and rescuers had salvaged 113 bodies from the scene, including 65 women, 27 children and 21 men, the ministry told local reporters.

According to the ministry, 16 people, including five women, six children and five men, are still missing.

A total of 208 people are believed to have sailed on the 55- year-old double-decker boat Bulgaria, which authorities say was overloaded when it sank. Seventy-nine passengers aboard the ship were rescued by a passing ship after the tragedy.

Also on Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin flew to Kazan city near the scene of the tragedy and held meetings with members of a government commission investigating the sinking of the Bulgaria ship.

"This many dead, this many children killed - it is terrible that we have to pay such a price for irresponsibility, negligence, greed and gross violation of safety regulations," Putin was quoted by local media as saying.

He also called for tight, tough oversight of health and safety rules and harsh penalties for their violations.

Source: Xinhua
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