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Russian divers recover 100th victim's body from Volga river

Other News Materials 13 July 2011 14:23
Russian divers on Wednesday pulled the body of he 100th victim of a sunken steam ship from the Volga river, as plans to raise the vessel were delayed.
Russian divers recover 100th victim's body from Volga river

Russian divers on Wednesday pulled the body of he 100th victim of a sunken steam ship from the Volga river, as plans to raise the vessel were delayed, DPA reported.

The sinking, Russia's worst since 1986, is believed to have killed 110 people, among them the ship's captain, his wife and some 20 children who had been on board for a party.

Recovery teams had explored most of the internal spaces of the ship but more dead were likely to be found, officials told the Interfax news agency.

The Bulgaria capsized and sank in some 20 metres of water near the city of Kazan, some 750 kilometres east of Moscow, on Sunday.

More than 100 divers were at work performing searches and inspecting the hulk.

Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said the ship would be brought to the surface after a "transparent tender."

Two employees from companies operating the Bulgaria have been arrested because of the vessel's reportedly poor condition and lack of operating license at the time of the accident.

The ship was built in 1955 and was, according to news reports, poorly-maintained.

Potential safety issues noted by inspectors prior to its sinking reportedly included a non-working engine, a starboard list, portholes that failed to close, no safety instruction for passengers, overloading and a decision by the captain to set sail despite a storm warning.

Moscow media on Wednesday reported the Bulgaria's management had not paid crew in months and had renamed the vessel to prevent debt collectors from confiscating the ship.

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