Up to 110 people, including 50 children, have been drowned after an overloaded tourist boat sank on the Volga River in Russia. The vessel’s official capacity was only 120, but it was said to have been carrying 208 people.
The 55 year old Bulgaria went down in minutes after being caught in a storm, while it was en route from Bolgary to Kazan, and the Russian authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the disaster amid reports that one of the vessel’s engines was not working.
President Medvedev has ordered safety checks on ‘all means’ of passenger transport, saying the Bulgaria was in a poor state, and that Russia had too many ‘old rust tubs’.
Back in the 1980’s after a series of dreadful accidents in the former Soviet Union, including Chernobyl and a gas explosion by the Trans-Siberian Railway, President Gorbachev complained that too many resulted from ‘negligence, irresponsibility and a lack of proper organisation’. It looks as though his successor believes that problem is far from being solved.