Nine dead after pleasure boat sinks in Moscow

August 1st, 2011 - 1:01 am ICT by BNO News  

MOSCOW (BNO NEWS) — Eight people have been confirmed dead and a ninth person is presumed to have drowned after a pleasure boat collided with a cargo barge and sank in the Moscow River on Sunday, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said.

A spokesperson for the ministry said that eight of the 16 people on board were killed, while seven were rescued after the private pleasure boat Lastochka sank in the center of the Russian capital. A ninth person is presumed to have drowned.

An Investigative Committee said that the vessel, which was registered in Russia’s easternmost province of Chukotka, had permission to carry no more than 12 passengers, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

The captain of the boat Gennady Zinger, who was also the boat’s owner, was among the dead and had already been fined three times this year for exceeding the number of passengers on board his vessel. A criminal investigation has been launched into the violation of water transport safety and operation rules.

The incident comes after the ‘Bulgaria’ cruise ship carrying 201 people capsized and sank on the Volga River in Russia on July 10, killing 122 passengers, including children. Only 79 people were rescued.

The vessel, which was build over 50 years ago, had its last renovation done some 30 years ago and lacked license and paperwork for carrying passengers. In addition, the vessel had several safety discrepancies, including a broken engine and extreme overloading.

Following the sinking of the cruise ship Bulgaria, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered total checks of all passenger transport in the country.

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