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Rescue ship approaches island where raft found

November 17, 2012, 9:21 UTC+3
The raft, or some object like a raft, was found from a BE-200 plane on the southwestern shore of the island
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

KHABAROVSK, November 17 (Itar-Tass) — The rescue ship Rubin on Saturday came to Belichy Island of the Shantar Archipelago to examine the found raft that supposedly could be from the Amurskaya freighter, which sank in late October. The raft, or some object like a raft, was found from a BE-200 plane on the southwestern shore of the island.

After the examination, the Rubin will head for the site where the freighter sank, and divers will continue to examine the inside parts of the vessel, which is lying on the seabed at a depth of 25 metres.

On October 28, the freighter Amurskaya with the crew of nine people aboard left the port of Kiran, the Tugur-Chumikan district of the Khabarovsk Territory. The vessel was to deliver gold-containing ore to the port of Okhotsk, but it sank near the Shantar Islands in a severe storm. Search for the missing ship started the same day with the use of planes, helicopters and ships. Rescuers also examine the coast line.

On November 9, divers found a dead body in one of the rooms in the sunken freighter. The fate of the other eight people is not known yet.

A criminal case is opened over the shipwreck. The director-general of the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur Sea Port company, Alexander Shiltsin, is arrested. The company is the owner of the freighter. The director is accused of safety regulations violation that caused deaths and also hampering in investigation.

According to experts, there were several causes of the shipwreck, including the overloading of the ship, the permission to leave for the route in a storm and bad technical condition of the freighter.

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