Russian Pleasure Boat Hits Barge in Moscow River, 9 Killed

Posted July 31st, 2011 at 9:45 am (UTC-5)
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A Russian pleasure boat has collided with a barge on the Moscow River, killing nine of the 16 people on the boat. Seven passengers were rescued or swam to safety.

Russian media say the overloaded pleasure boat was hosting a party before dawn Sunday, when it struck the barge and sank near Moscow's Luzhniki stadium.

Russia's main investigative agency says the boat's captain, who was among the dead, had faced prosecution several times for violating regulations, including for exceeding the boat's maximum capacity of 12. Officials say it appears the captain breached operating rules again in Sunday's accident.

The crew of the barge helped to rescue the boat's survivors, who included a Turkish citizen and a U.S. embassy employee.

In another incident earlier this month, a Russian tourist boat sank in bad weather in the Volga River, killing 122 people in one of Russia's deadliest river accidents in years. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin blamed that accident on vessel operators whom he accused of greed and negligence.