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Eight people were killed and 47 in a Siberian river boat crash caused by a 'drunk captain'

By The Siberian Times reporter
18 August 2013

Among those hurt are eight children, say the emergency services.

The tragedy was on the Irtysh River close to the city of Omsk. The passenger vessel had 56 on board at the time of the accident, around 11 am on Sunday. Picture: funkyboyakeem, via Instagram  

The horrific accident came after a passenger vessel - the Polesye-8 - veered in front of a barge on the Irtysh River near Omsk. Divers scoured the river for survivors in the wake of the tragedy.

The passenger vessel was badly holed, with some reports saying it was torn into several sections.  

'A criminal investigation has been opened into the violation of safety rules', said a spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee, equivalent of the FBI.

The captain of the Polesye-8 was being questioned by police and 'has obvious signs of alcohol intoxication', reported Itar-Tass. 

The tragedy was on the Irtysh River close to the city of Omsk. The passenger vessel had 56 on board at the time of the accident, around 11 am on Sunday.

Four crew including the captain were on board. The Polesye-8 was on the way from Omsk to Achair and the cargo barge collided near the settlement of Novaya Stanitsa. The accident is bound to raise the question of the safety of river vessels in Russia. 

It is the latest in a succession of boat tragedies  amid concerns over breaches of safety rules. Two years ago 122 people perished when a riverboat sank on the Volga River, and a further 16 after a collision between a boat and a barge on the Moscow River.

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