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One crewmember found dead in sunken freighter

November 09, 2012, 8:39 UTC+3

The examination of the Amurskaya is continuing

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MOSCOW, November 9 (Itar-Tass) — Divers have found one crewmember dead in the sunken Amurskaya freighter, a source at the Russian Emergencies Ministry's information department told Itar-Tass.

The examination of the Amurskaya is continuing, the source said.

The found man is not identified yet.

The divers have examined the bridge, the captain's room, the upper deck and the dining room in the ship.

A Be-200 plane and a Mi-8 helicopter are continuing the examination of the area from the air.

Nine crewmembers were aboard the freighter. The fate of the other eight people is unknown so far.

On October 28, the freighter Amurskaya with nine crewmembers aboard left the port of Kiran, the Khabarovsk Region, for the port of Okhotsk. According to the investigators' information, the ship had 700-750 tonnes of gold-containing ore aboard, though its load weight must not exceed 611 tonnes. Experts suppose the load could move in the storm, and supposedly because of this, the vessel capsized and sank.

Contact with the vessel was lost, and aircraft and ships examined more than 20,000 square kilometres near the Shantar Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk, and search groups examined more than 160 kilometres of the coast line of the Khabarovsk Territory in search of the missing ship. An empty life raft was found on Feklistov Island of the Shantar Archipelago. It is not established yet whether the raft is from the Amurskaya.

The freighter was found lying on the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk at a depth of 25 metres near the Shantar Islands. Eight divers, including a doctor, are working at the site.

On Friday morning, the wind was 5-7 metres a second, it was cloudy, waves were one metre high, the temperature was near zero, and visibility was within eight miles in the area. The divers and an investigator were carried by a Mi-8 helicopter from Khabarovsk to the Rubin rescue vessel on Thursday. Another helicopter delivered a tonne of equipment for their work. The divers from the Far Eastern regional search and rescue centre can work at a depth of 50 metres.

Last Wednesday, three divers from the Rubin crew examined the sunken freighter, but did not get inside the vessel.

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