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Russia's Duma committee to scrutinize circumstances of children’s death on northern lake

June 21, 9:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS/. Russian State Duma’s committee for the family, women and children plans to examine the tragedy on a lake in the northwestern region of Karelia where thirteen children and adolescents died and one child went missing during a hiking tour.

Committee chairperson Olga Yepifanova told TASS on Monday the hair-raising tragedy in Karelia necessitated a thorough scrutiny of all of its circumstances. She also said she had sent a parliamentary query on behalf of the committee to Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika.

The query says the committee members are shocked by the tragedy that befell a group of children on Lake Syamozero in Karelia. "We think there can be no justification to such victims under whatever circumstances," the document said.

Olga Yepifanova believes a thorough investigation should expose the causes of the tragedy and produce a recommendation for the measures, including legislative ones, that would rule out a repetition of such cases.

Investigators say on June 18 the children and adults staying on the territory of Park Hotel Syamozero summer camp for children went on a boat tour on a raft and two boats to the islands in Syamozero in Karelia’s Pryazhinsky district.

All in all, the party had 47 adolescents and four accompanying adults who ignored the worsening weather conditions and the rising waves.

A storm began when the party was already deep into the lake’s water area and the raft with children and two adults was washed ashore on one of the islands while the two boats were pulled out to the open water where the instructors and the children proved unable to keep control of the boats and found themselves overboard as a result.

The misfortunate travelers tried to reach the shore by swimming but tall waves and low water temperature made this task excruciating. Fourteen children drowned.

A total of thirteen bodies have been found and the search for one more body continues. The rest of the party managed to get to the shore and were rescued later.

The criminal case opened by Russia’s Investigations Committee envisions prison terms of up to ten years for the guilty.

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