41 Dead, 80 Missing After Russia Cruise Ship Sinks

80 rescued thus far in Volga disaster
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 11, 2011 5:47 AM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2011 8:02 AM CDT
Rescue boats try to locate passengers of a tourist boat that sunk on the Volga River in central Russia on Sunday, July 10, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ministry of Emergency Situations press service)
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(Newser) – The numbers are getting worse: 41 people, including five children, are dead, with more than 80 still missing after an overpacked cruise ship sank on the Volga River in Russia yesterday afternoon. An official now says the Bulgaria was carrying 208 people—far more than the 120 it was licensed to hold, the AP reports. The cause of the sinking remains unclear, but survivors say a wave hit the deck as the boat leaned into a turn; the ship then sank within eight minutes in 65-foot deep water, says an official.

Local investigators say the ship was listing as the voyage began, possibly due to unemptied sewage tanks, and that the port engine was malfunctioning, according to Russia's state news agency. Some 80 Russians have been rescued as searchers continue to work.

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