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Bulgaria shipwreck case sent to court

February 14, 2013, 5:05 UTC+3

One hundred and twenty-two people died when the vessel sank on July 10, 2011

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MOSCOW, February 14 (Itar-Tass) - The Bulgaria shipwreck case has been sent to a court in Tatarstan, spokeswoman for the Russian Prosecutor General's Office Marina Gridneva told Itar-Tass.

One hundred and twenty-two people died when the vessel sank on July 10, 2011. "Tatarstan prosecutors endorsed the indictment in the criminal case over the sinking of the Bulgaria pleasure boat and sent the case to the republic's Kamsko-Ustinsky district court," Gridneva said.

The defendants are director of the AgroRechTur company Svetlana Inyakina, 42, senior expert of the Perm sector, Russian Inland Waters Registry, Kama branch, Yakov Ivashov, 64, former first officer of Bulgaria's captain Ramil Khametov, 41, head of the Kazan office of the Volga department of state, maritime and inland supervision Irek Timergazeeyev and chief inspector of the same office Vladislav Semyonov, 44.

"The investigators believe the direct cause of the Bulgaria pleasure boat accident was a combination of factors such as sea unworthiness both because of its technical condition and the level of the crew's training, non-compliance with safe navigation regulations, and improper performance of duties by the shipowner, crewmembers, and inspectors of supervising bodies in preparing the ship for operation and in operating it," the spokeswoman said.

On March 25, 2011, Inyakina concluded a sublease contract, under which AgroRechTur leased the Bulgaria, a vessel built in 1955, which could accommodate 120 people.

"The woman had to perform the functions of shipowner, which envisioned taking safety measures during navigation and operation. In the second half of April 2011, Inyakina, together with the captain and the mechanic arrived in Perm to check the technical condition of the vessel and saw that technical faults made it impossible to transport passengers. However, Inyakina used her friendly ties with supervisors, thus securing, with Ivashov's assistance, the documents necessary for operating the vessel and proceeded to operate the fault steamer.

"Timergazeyev and Semyonov drew an act of pre-license check of AgroRechTur and faked a statement about the readiness of the license applicant to meet the requirements for inland waters shipments," Gridneva said.

On July 10, 2011, the Bulgaria sank at a depth of 18 meters in the Kuibyshev water reservoir, Tatarstan's Kamsko-Ustinsky district. One hundred and twenty-two people died and another 79 were injured.

The damage to the shipowner - the Kama Shipping company - is estimated at some 30 million roubles," Gridneva said.

The court sanctioned the arrest of Inyakina, Ivashov, Timergazeyev and Semyonov. Khametov is on a written pledge not to leave town.



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