Russian divers say children’s bodies found in ship

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Divers searching a tourist boat that sank in Russia’s Volga River discovered the bodies of some 50 people, most of them children, in a recreation room on Tuesday, an Emergencies Ministry official said. The news will deepen anguish over a disaster that tore families apart, killing up to 129 people and underscoring concerns about the negligence, corner-cutting and corruption that troubles Russia. The official death toll rose to 72.
The Bulgaria, an overcrowded riverboat on a weekend Volga cruise, sank 3 km (1.85 miles) from shore on Sunday after listing onto its right side in a thunderstorm. Authorities said 79 of the 208 people on board were rescued. Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman Yelena Smirnykh said divers working their way through the wreck saw the bodies when they reached the recreation area, where survivors had said some 30 children gathered shortly before the boat sank.
“By their visual estimates, the bodies of about 50 people are there. Most of them are children,” Smirnykh told Reuters.