MOSCOW (Reuters) – Investigators on Tuesday blamed a drunk captain for a boat crash that killed 11 people on a river cruise in the Russian city of Volgograd, which is hosting matches in the soccer World Cup.
A pleasure craft carrying 16 people collided with a tugboat on the Volga River, about 250 meters from the riverbank, late on Monday, killing 11, rescue services said.
Russia’s Investigative Committee, citing preliminary results from the forensic examination, said the boat’s captain, who also owned the vessel, was drunk and likely to blame for the crash.
The vessel, which had not been registered with authorities, was overloaded and there were only six life jackets onboard, all of which were unused, the committee added in a statement.
Five people were rescued, and three of the survivors were in hospital, according to the website of regional governor Andrei Bocharov.
Volgograd, known as Stalingrad from 1925-1961 and site of the largest and bloodiest battle of World War Two, will host World Cup opening round matches involving England, Tunisia, Nigeria, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Japan and Poland.
The first is the June 18 game between England and Tunisia.
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Alison Williams)