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KHABAROVSK, November 6 (Itar-Tass) — An An-26 airplane of the Khabarovsk Airlines returned to Nikolayevsk-on-Amur after a surveillance flight over an offshore zone in the Sea of Okhotsk, where the bulk carrier Amurskaya had probably wrecked. No traces of the lost ship were stopped, a spokesman for the Khabarovsk Territory emergency department told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
According to the spokesman, weather conditions do not allow divers from the Rubin rescue boat to reach the sea bottom near the Shantar Islands to examine an object that was spotted at the depth of 25 metres. The object resembles the bulk carrier, which went missing in the area on October 28.
“It looks like the diver operation will be postponed till November 7, since the storm in the Sea of Okhotsk is not subsiding,” the spokesman said.
According to the Far Eastern transport investigation department of the Russian Investigations Committee, Alexander Shiltsin, the director general of the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur seaport, which owned the Amurskaya ship, was detained in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and taken back to the Khabarovsk Territory. The man had been summoned for interrogation but never showed up. Instead, he flew to Moscow. Charges will soon be brought against him.
Investigators found out that the Amurskaya left the port of Kiran in the Tuguro-Chumikansky district of the Khabarovsk Territory on October 28 much overloaded. It carried 700-750 tons of gold-containing ore, although its maximum capacity is 611 tons. The ship is not designed to carry bulk cargo. Experts believe that the cargo could be displaced because the ship was rolling baldy in the storm conditions, which led to her instant capsizing and sinking. The ship had a crew of none. Nothing is known about their fate.