Russia finds last corpses of 122 boat tragedy dead

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Russia on Monday reported finding the last two bodies of the 122 people who were killed in the country's worst post-Soviet shipping accident.

The regional emergencies ministry said the July 10 Volga River disaster claimed the lives of 72 women, 28 children and 22 men.

The 56-year-old Bulgaria vessel was experiencing problems with one of its engines before sailing and was listing heavily to the right when it went down in a wide bend of Europe's longest river.

The craft was also overcrowded and operating without a proper license. Investigators have arrested the tour operator and a local licensing official and filed charges that could put each behind bars for 10 years.

Officials are also pressing charges against two captains who failed to stop their passing vessels and help those in distress. The two men say their boats would have crushed the survivors and were not equipped for rescuers.

The Bulgaria was partially raised on Friday and moved over the weekend to shallower waters where it is being slowly drained and inspected.

Officials requested the expensive boat recovery operation to confirm what caused the accident.

© 2011 AFP

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