Monday, July 18, 2011

The Tragedy On The Volga River

The Bulgaria cruise ship sank on the Volga river on July, 10. The ship carried 188 passengers including the personnel. It took the ship some minutes to sink. The tragedy occurred in Tatarstan. July 12 is announced the day of mourning. Rescue operations continue till now.

Rescuers managed to pull 9 bodies out of water. It is still unknown what has happened to other 100 people. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, just few chances are left to find them. Besides, the ship carried 70 people more than it was planned initially.
Considering preliminary data, 199 passengers were aboard including 59 children.

79 people were saved. The number includes 50 passengers, 33 members of the crew and 6 passengers out of unregistered ones.

Bulgaria sank 30 km away from Kazan. Official reasons are not announced yet. The weather was bad that day and the ship was overloaded.

The majority of the survivors were saved by the ship Arabella that was passing by. The captain reported about the accident and then took survived passengers to Kazan.

According to the words of the injured, two other ships passed by before the Arabella and no help was rendered.

It is not known yet what has happened to 100 passengers. Rescue procedures become even more complicated due to the bad weather.

Additional lighting devices are installed at the site of the accident. There are not many chances to find those who could survive. At the time of an accident there was a musical show in one of the halls which could be seen by 50 children.

The Bulgaria is a ship which is old enough. It was built in 1955 and found suitable for use during the inspection in 2011.  That’s what the ship with a list to starboard looked like.

Without passengers.

It’s difficult to say whether these damages are serious. It is only clear that the condition of the ship is far from being ideal.

Some emergency exits were closed. That’s why so many people couldn’t leave the ship.

50 children were locked in a musical hall. Note that the sea is calm. The site is hard to navigate. Not every captain can pass it if he lacks experience and skills. Besides, there are no large traffic arteries nearby, the nearest town is inhabited by 8300 people and can be considered a village.

A state commission will be set up to investigate the circumstances which led up to the accident.

According to the statement of a tourist traveled by the ship on July 3, the engine failed to work 3 times during the voyage. The power supply system was de-energized switching off the radio.
It moved so slowly that failed to reach a port in time. In spite of all the shortcomings the owners of the ship couldn’t wait to sell another set of tickets and welcome new passengers. To be able to reach the port of destination on time all the planned stops were cancelled though the ship carried the disabled and pensioners who saved money for the trip for quite a long time.

The banks are steep and high and it is not always possible to go down the water.

The captain of the ship wasn’t saved as he didn’t leave the ship. His body and the body of his wife have already been found.

Meanwhile, new details of the tragedy are only now coming to the surface. Citing a representative of the Volga transport prosecutor’s office, Interfax news agency reports that the Bulgaria voyage was operating illegally since the carrier was not licensed to transport passengers.

The authorities announced it was necessary to promote domestic tourism and attract foreign guests. Schoolchildren must visit historical places that’s why tickets have to be sold at low prices. Local authorities decided to support the program which lead to death of those people who were willing to see new places.

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