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Ill-fortune MS Bulgaria that sank in Volga River sent for scrappage

October 27, 2011, 0:12 UTC+3
The ill-fortune Bulgaria pleasure boat that was lifted from the bottom of the Kuibyshevskoye dam lake where it sank on July 10 has been sent for scrappage
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KAZAN, October 26 (Itar-Tass) —— The ill-fortune Bulgaria pleasure boat that was lifted from the bottom of the Kuibyshevskoye dam lake where it sank on July 10 has been sent for scrappage, Nail Vazykhov, the director of the shipyards where the ship was docked, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

The double-decker ship Bulgaria sank in a storm in the Kuibyshevskoye dam lake, three kilometers away from the shore, on July 10. The ship built in Czechoslovakia in 1955 titled to the right and sank within minutes. There were 201 people onboard, and only 79 survived the wreck. A total of 122 people – 28 children, 72 women and 22 men – died.

According to experts, the ship’s crew had violated a number of safe navigation rules, which eventually resulted in the catastrophe. Thus, the Russian River Register permitted the Bulgaria to carry no more than 120 people, while it had 201. The Bulgaria had six rescue rafts for 120 people and two rescue boats for 36. The ship sank because it was flooded by water coming from open windows in conditions of a storm, experts say.

The Kama River Shipping Company was the official owner of the Bulgaria. It leased the ship to Vodaflot, and the latter sub-leased the Bulgaria to Argorechflot in 2010. The ship made voyages from Kazan to Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Bolgary and Volgograd.

Shipbuilders said that the diesel-and-electric-powered vessels of the Bulgaria type had a service life of no more than 20 years. Longer use was possible on the condition of constant maintenance and modernization. The Bulgaria had its last full checkout at the Perm shipyard on May 24, 2007.

On July 26, the Bulgaria was lifted from the bottom of the dam lake and put in dock in Tatarstan for further examination by experts.

As Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin said earlier during his working trip to the republic of Tatarstan, the ship was to be scrapped and its owner, the Kama River Shipping Company, was to compensate the losses to the dock owner. The sum was estimated at 180,000 roubles a day.

“The ship owner must repay 8.5 million roubles, so far it has only paid 6.2 million roubles,” Vazykhov said. In his words, his company was negotiating the repayment of the outstanding sum with the Ministry of Transport and the ship owner.

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