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Captain of capsized boat in Astrakhan Region was under influence of drugs

July 23, 2018, 1:25 UTC+3 ASTRAKHAN

The man has been officially detained

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© Yegor Aleev/TASS

ASTRAKHAN, July 23. /TASS/. The man who drove the boat carrying children that capsized in Russia’s southern Astrakhan region was under the influence of drugs, he has been officially detained, Andrei Khegai, senior aide to the head of the Investigative Department at the Russian Investigative Committee’s regional directorate, said on Monday.

"The man who drove the boat carrying the children was under the influence of drugs. That was not his boat, he borrowed it from his friend. The man has been officially detained," Khegai said, adding that a pre-trial restraint will be imposed on the detainee within days.

According to investigators, in the evening on July 22, 2018, a local born in 1991 who was under the influence of drugs borrowed a boat to transport nine children to the opposite bank of the Buzan River. While crossing the river, the suspect made a sharp maneuver, because of which the boat capsized and the children fell into the water. Six of them were rescued, while three others, born in 2004, 2008 and 2010, drowned.

Earlier reports said citing the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s regional department that a boat capsized while transporting children to the opposite bank of the Buzan River. According to rescue team members, the boat was carrying nine people, including seven children, three of them drowned. A criminal case was initiated under Part 3 of Section 109 of Russia’s Criminal Code (Causing death of two or more persons by negligence).

The local administration head said that divers had found the body of the teenage girl. The search operation continues.

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