Flags are flying at half mast in Russia today, an official day of mourning for the victims of the Volga boat tragedy. The overloaded river cruiser “Bulgaria” went down near the town of Kazan.
Makeshift shrines are appearing along the shore.
Dozens of children are among the missing. Officials now say there is little hope of finding anyone alive in the wreck.
Police divers are nonetheless at the scene, but the operation is now more about recovery than rescue. They say they have seen the bodies of up to 40 children trapped in the cafeteria of the overloaded river cruiser, where they had gathered to play.
One man who survived the sinking said the crew were only interested in saving themselves and did not help the passengers. “My daughter is missing,” he added, “I am hoping she has survived in an air pocket.”
There were 208 people on the Bulgaria and at least 58 bodies have been identified so far. They have been taken to the local hospital.
Eighty people were rescued. But for the relatives of those still unaccounted for, the wait goes on.