Russian Boat Sinking Death Toll Rises to 120

Posted July 24th, 2011 at 11:45 am (UTC-5)
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Russian officials say divers have recovered six more bodies from the wreckage of a tourist boat that sank earlier this month in the Volga River, raising the death toll to at least 120.

Officials said Sunday two people also remained missing and were presumed dead in Russia's worst river disaster in decades. The tourist boat Bulgaria sank abruptly in stormy weather near the city of Kazan in Russia's republic of Tatarstan on July 10.

The 56-year old vessel was operating without a proper license. It also was overcrowded with 201 people on board, many of them children. Only 79 people were rescued. Survivors said the boat suffered engine trouble and listed to one side before sinking within several minutes.

Russian authorities have arrested the tour operator and a local licensing official as part of a criminal investigation into the sinking. Authorities also have partially raised the boat and moved it to shallower waters, where they say it will be drained of water and inspected.