Authorities are struggling to deal with what is being described as the worst maritime incident in Russia’s history. A riverboat with between 180 and 210 people capsized on the Volga River. More than 100 people including dozens of children, are still missing.
The Bulgaria had been cruising in the Kuybyshev Reservoir. When boats reached the scene they found people clinging to life vests and boat debris. 82 people have been pulled out of the water. One death has been confirmed.
Confusion hampered rescue operations. There is no clear information about exactly how many passengers were on the boat, some reports claim there were more than 200 people, the local emergencies ministry claims about 205 people were on board the riverboat placing the operators in violation of its capacity limit of 140 people.
Apparently about 40 children were trapped in the cargo hold, which they were using as a playroom. The children apparently entered the room shortly before the riverboat sank.