More than 100 bodies have been brought to the surface and as the search for victims goes on, anger is mounting over Russia’s worst riverboat accident in years.
Divers face a tough task. The ageing, overcrowded tourist boat, the Bulgaria, sank in the Volga River within minutes.
“We are working inside the ship where there is hardly any visibility,” said Andrey Anikeev of the Russian Emergency Ministry. “It is very hard to find your way about.”
Some 79 of the 208 people on board were rescued. But the bodies of dozens of children have been found in the wreck.
Prosecutors say the Bulgaria which sank in Russia’s Tatarstan region had no licence to carry passengers and had engine problems when it left port.
Tributes have been paid to its captain who chose not to abandon his sinking ship. Speaking at his funeral, his ex-wife Tatyana Ostrovskaya, said: “He had a chance to save himself, as everybody did who was near him. He was a good swimmer but he simply did his civil duty, steadfast and heroically, up to the bitter end.”
Several people are being questioned amid a criminal probe into Sunday’s tragedy including the captains of two other ships accused of failing to help.