Moscow (CNN) — A cruise ship carrying 182 people sank in Russia’s Volga River on Sunday, leaving at least one person dead and large numbers missing, emergency officials said.
The ship, the Bulgaria, sank with about 2 p.m. (6 a.m. ET) with 125 passengers and a crew of 57 aboard, Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry reported. A total of 84 people had been rescued Sunday evening, the ministry said.
The state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported that police have opened a criminal investigation into allegations of safety violations aboard the vessel. One woman was confirmed dead and 88 remained missing, RIA Novosti said.
The agency said double-deck cruise ship went down near the village of Syukeyevo, in the Russian republic of Tatarstan. Russian officials said two ships and two helicopters responded to the incident, about 50 miles south of the city of Kazan — about 450 miles east of Moscow.
In all, 22 rescue units including 80 people were involved in the operation, RIA Novosti reported.
More than 110 people are missing after a tourist boat sank on the Volga River in Russia, officials say.
They say one person was confirmed dead and dozens were rescued after the boat sank in the republic of Tatarstan, about 750km (450 miles) east of Moscow.
More than 180 passengers and crew were believed to be on the Bulgaria, which was sailing from the town of Bulgar to the regional capital, Kazan.
The cause of the accident is not clear. A rescue operation is continuing.
The search and rescue effort will continue throughout the night, but hopes of finding survivors are fading, says the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow.
Miles from shore
The Bulgaria – a 55-five year old vessel which is believed to be owned by a local tourism company – was on a two-day cruise when it came into difficulty at about 1400 on Sunday, sinking within minutes, says our correspondent.
It sank several kilometres from the shore near the village of Sukeyevo, about 80km south of Kazan.
While dozens of people were rescued by another pleasure boat that was passing nearby, more than 110 are still missing.
Relatives of those on board have gathered at a port in Kazan waiting for news of their loved ones.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an investigation into the incident.
The Volga, a wide river, is popular with cruise boats at this time of the year, says our correspondent.