AT LEAST 10 people have been killed in a disastrous collision between two boats in the city hosting England’s first World Cup game.
Five were rescued from the unlicensed boat, which was being used for a late night “drunken” birthday party for a traffic policeman.
One man is missing presumed drowned after the the boat – the Elan-12 – sank moments after the collision with the barge, the Kapital Vecherkin.
“Divers have recovered nine bodies – three men and six women,” Russian emergency services said, according to TASS news agency.
England play Tunisia in their opening World Cup game in Volgograd on Monday June 12 and fans have already started arriving in the city.
A “violation of catamaran manoeuvring rules” has been cited as a possible cause of the collision by emergency services.
“The [captain of the ship] could [have] breach manoeuvring rules, failed to notice the barge and did not make an attempt to avoid the collision,” an emergency services source said.
A 17-year-old girl was among and five women and four men who were killed in the boat accident.
It is understood no foreigners were involved in the horrific accident some 800 ft off the city’s main river embankment, and only a mile from the stadium where England will play.
Safety concerns were raised after reports the catamaran was overcrowded with 16 on board when it had a capacity of only a dozen, and had no lights and insufficient life jackets.
The vessel was not registered and had no licence to carry passengers, according to local reports.
Rescue teams were quickly at the scene but could only save five of the passengers on the catamaran .
Divers pulled six bodies from the sunken boat, and four more were found early today.
The dead included local traffic policemen and members of their families.
Revellers were celebrating the 43rd birthday of police officer Vitaly Negrash.
One of the survivors was policeman Sergey Shkurenko, a friend of Khakhalev’s.
Shkurenko was being interrogated by police this morning.
Criminal investigations are underway into the overnight river accident.
Source: Daily Star