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Criminal case opened over West refrigerator sinking in Okhotsk Sea

September 24, 2012, 9:06 UTC+3
The search for the missing crew members is conducted by a Mi-8 helicopter of the Russian Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) and seven fishing boats
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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, September 24 (Itar-Tass) — Criminal proceedings under Article 263, part 2 of the RF Criminal Code (violation of safety rules and operation of water transport, resulting in the death of two or more people by negligence) have been instituted over the sinking of the West transport refrigerator in the Sea of Okhotsk off the coast of Kamchatka, head of the Kamchatka investigation division of the Far Eastern Transport Investigation Department of Russia’s Investigative Committee (SK) Anton Artemenko told Itar-Tass on Monday.

So far the investigation does give priority to any of the versions of the accident. Among the possible versions there are overloading of the vessel, improper disposition of the cargo, a technical failure and many others, Artemenko said. However, he drew attention to the fact that the weather in the area of ··the accident on the day of the sinking “was relatively quiet.”

The West vessel was performing a freight voyage from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the Manily settlement. It had on board 10 people and more than 49 tonnes of general cargo. On September 23 in the evening the vessel capsized and sank. Eight crewmembers were rescued. The fate of two others is still unknown.

The search for the missing crew members is conducted by a Mi-8 helicopter of the Russian Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) and seven fishing boats. The search efforts have yielded no result so far.

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