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Criminal case opened over bulk carrier that went missing in Sea of Okhotsk

November 01, 2012, 10:46 UTC+3

The ship had no permit from relevant services. It was overloaded and was not fitted to carry loose cargoes

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KHABAROVSK, November 1 (Itar-Tass) — A criminal case has been opened in Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory over the Amurskaya bulk carrier that went missing in the Sea of Okhotsk, deputy head of the Far Eastern transport investigation department of the Russian Investigations Committee Konstantin Stolbin said on Thursday.

“The criminal case was opened on charges of violations of navigation safety and sea transport operation rules resulting in the death of two or more persons (part 3, article 263 of the Russian Criminal Code,” he told a briefing.

The missing dry cargo ship was carrying 700-750 tons of gold-containing ore from the port township of Kiran in the Khabarovsk Territory to the port of Okhotsk. It left the Kiran port on Sunday, October 28.

According to the technical specifications of the Amurskaya, it has the weight-carrying capacity of 611 tons, which means it might be carrying an extra 89 tons of ore. Its length is 55 meters. The vessel was built in 1973.

It had a crew of 9 aboard. A majority of the seamen are residents of the Primorsky Territory.

Aircrafts and ships have already surveyed an area of 4,000 square kilometers in the vicinity of the Shantar Island in the Sea of Okhotsk to find no traces of the ship. Nothing is known about the nine crew members of the Amurskaya.

According to investigators, the ship had no permit from relevant services. The ship was overloaded and was not fitted to carry loose cargoes.

The search operation is conducted by a Be-200 amphibious airplane of the Russian emergencies ministry and the Novik tanker.

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