`Those guilty for boat tragedy must be punished`

Last Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 18:48

Moscow: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
has sought a thorough probe and strict punishment for those
responsible for the Bulgaria boat tragedy that claimed lives
of at least 113 passengers in Volga river.

At least 113 passengers, including many children, were
killed when the overloaded vintage cruise vessel carrying 208
people sunk in Volga river in a heavy storm in the Russian
Republic of Tatarstan.

"Everyone involved in organising this should bear
responsibility," Medvedev said in a televised meeting with top
investigators at his country retreat Gorki near here
yesterday.

He called for a thorough probe and strict punishment
for those directly or indirectly responsible for the tragedy
last Sunday.

A passing passenger ship had rescued 79 passengers of
the ill-fated the Bulgaria built in 1955 in former
Czechoslovakia. At least, 16 people are still missing.

During an unscheduled Tatarstan visit, Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin on Thursday blamed "irresponsibility,
negligence and greed" for the tragedy.

On Wednesday, the police have arrested the CEO of the
company operating the Bulgaria and the river transport
inspector who declared it seaworthy.

Chief of the Investigative Committee Alexander
Bastrykin had ordered the arrest of the captains of two ships
that passed by the sinking Bulgaria without trying to help
rescue people on board.

According to RIA Novosti, they face up to two years
behind bars if found guilty of deliberately ignoring a vessel
in distress.

The special salvage team of the Russian Navy is
completing the preparations for lifting the Bulgaria on
surface over the weekend with the help of powerful floating
cranes.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 18:48

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