7 killed, 2 missing in Moscow boat accident

10:12, July 31, 2011      

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Police set security line at the site where a pleasure boat carrying 15 people collided with a barge on the Moscow River and sank on July 31, 2011.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)


A private pleasure boat carrying 16 people sank in the Moscow river after bumping into a cargo barge early Sunday, leaving at least seven dead and two others missing, authorities said.

Yuri Besedin, deputy head of the Emergency Situations Ministry's Moscow office, told local press that the bodies of the seven victims, including the captain who was also the boat owner, have been recovered from the water.

He added that six people aboard pleasure boat Lastochka were rescued and another swam to the shore himself.

The collision occurred at 00:58 a.m. local time (2058 GMT Saturday) as the navigator of the boat spotted the barge too late and "did not manage to escape the collision," officials with the Ministry were quoted by Itar-tass news agency as saying. The boat sank "within a minute," they said.

Witnesses said the boat was making erratic movements and circling the barge before the collision.

Most passengers aboard were foreigners, mainly from Turkey and the United States on an onboard birthday party Saturday night, colleagues of the victims told local media.

Authorities were trying to identify the passengers, and a rescue operation is still underway as two people on the boat remain unaccounted for.

The accident came less than a month after two-decked cruise ship Bulgaria carrying 201 people sank in the Volga river, killing 122 passengers aboard.


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Source:Xinhua
 
 
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