July 11, 2011 / 6:31 PM / 8 years ago

Factbox: Doomed Russian tourist boat "Bulgaria"

(Reuters) - Russia said there was little hope of finding any more people alive Monday after a tourist boat sank in the Volga River a day earlier, killing 128 people in Russia’s worst river accident in three decades.

Following are some facts on the boat “Bulgaria” and how it sank:

* Previously named “Ukraine,” the two-deck boat was built in the former Communist satellite country of Czechoslovakia in 1955.

* The 78-metre long vessel had a capacity for 140 people. When it sank, 208 people were on board, including 25 unregistered passengers, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. The width of the ship was 12.2 metres.

* The accident is likely to spark public anger at authorities over the country’s often outdated transportation infrastructure ahead of a parliamentary election in December and a presidential poll in March next year.

* Nearly 100 boats of the same age are still in service in Russia, says the Transportation Ministry. The last check on the boat was on June 15, 2011, state TV Rossiya 24 reported.

* Of the passengers, as many as 60 were children, Russian media reported. Emergency workers rescued 80 people and brought 55 bodies to the surface of the river. Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Dmitry Medvedev that there was little hope of finding any more survivors.

* The width of the Volga River, Russia’s longest, is 10 km (6 miles) at the site of the accident, which hampered search and rescue efforts.

* The boat departed Kazan, the capital of the Tatarstan region, on July 9 and headed towards the settlement of Bolgary.

On July 10 at 13:30 local time the ship listed right while making a 90-degree turn and sank in three minutes nearly three kilometres from the river’s shore. The depth of the water at the site of the accident was 18 meters.

* The sinking is the most deadly river accident since the Alexander Suvorov crashed into a railroad bridge on the Volga in 1983, killing at least 176 people.

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