Russia may start recovery of Bulgaria wreckage ahead of schedule

Other News Materials 16 July 2011 11:04 (UTC +04:00)

The lifting of the Bulgaria cruise boat from the riverbed could start a day ahead of schedule as the first floating crane has already arrived at the site of the tragedy which killed at least 114 people last Sunday, Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said on Saturday, RIA Novosti reported.

"The Moguchy [Mighty] floating crane has arrived at the site where the recovery operation will be carried out," the ministry said.

The operation, planned by a Defense Ministry's research institute, involves two floating cranes. The second crane, the 351, is expected to arrive in the next few hours.

The bodies of 114 victims have been recovered, while 79 people were rescued after the boat sank on Sunday in the Volga River about 80 kilometers south of Kazan, the capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan. There were 208 people on board the vessel, which was designed for 120 passengers.

Russian authorities on Friday folded efforts to find the bodies of another 15 people believed to have died in the sinking of Bulgaria boat.

Search and rescue teams started to fly home on Friday evening, with the process of lifting the wreck off the riverbed due to start over the weekend.

The vessel is lying at the depth of about 20 meters some three kilometers from the shore.