Unlearnt lessons of Bolgaria tradegy: Tatflot allows motor ship to sail on the Volga with an overload of 140 people

Kazan river ships are being inspected by Transport Prosecutor's Office and the Investigative Committee

Unlearnt lessons of Bolgaria tradegy: Tatflot allows motor ship to sail on the Volga with an overload of 140 people Photo: Aleksander Shakirov

An overloaded ''river tram'' of Tatflot navigable company was stopped by prosecutors on Sunday evening at the river port. The passengers of the passage Tashevka-Kazan complained about an overcrowdedness on the ship and the lack of seats. With a maximum capacity of ships of the type ''Moscow''at 300 people, there stepped off 440 people! Later, the inspectors established that on the board there were only 345 lifejackets and one raft. The organizers of the dangerous river voyage are facing punishment, up to real imprisonment. The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya investigated the details.

Not a solemn meeting

The route Tashevka-Kazan can be considered countryside one. During the season, the ''tram'' does three passages a day there and back. Moreover, according to the website of the navigable company Tatflot, only two vessels transport people on this route. On the first one there are 100 seats, on the second — 242. The names of the vehicles are not listed. But there is a ticket price — a maximum of 122 rubles per trip.

On Sunday afternoon, on May 21, summer residents from Tashevka and the crew were met by the Linear Division of the MIA Transport police and of the Tatar Transport Prosecutor's Office. They received a signal from passengers about an overload of the vessel. People complained about the stuffiness and the lack of seats, said to Realnoe Vremya senior assistant of the Tatar Transport Prosecutor Evgeny Dikarev, who previously acted as the prosecutor at the trial in the case of the wreck of the ship Bolgaria.

During the season, the ''tram'' does three passages a day there and back

Despite the fact that it was a weekend, the signal was not remained without attention. At 3.45 p.m., the ship Moscow-130 arrived in the Kazan river port. On the quay berth, as captured by the CCTV camera, there stepped out 440 people, including 35 children. During the inspection of the vessel it was revealed — individual means of salvation would be enough only for 30 children and 315 adult passengers and crew members. That's the number of lifejackets the inspectors counted on the ship. There were also found eight lifebuoys and a liferaft with a capacity of 25 people.

2 years in prison for the Volga passage

The passenger motor ship Moscow-130 with single deck erection and the wheelhouse of the roof was launched in 1982. In different years, it was owned by the shipping companies Volga shipping company, Tatflot, and Azimut. From 2010, according to the specialized website on water transport fleetfoto, it was returned in the ownership of Tatflot. The maximum passenger capacity of ships of the class Moscow is only 300 people. How it turned out that there were 440 people, what is more — without the means of salvation, now is being investigated by the Transport Prosecutor's Office. Meanwhile, the staff of the Linear Division of the MIA Transport police transferred their materials to the Investigative Committee.

The Volga Investigative Department on Transport of the Investigative Committee of Russia has confirmed that transportation of people in the overloaded ship was carried out by the navigable company Tatflot JSC. After the results of the examination, they will make a decision whether to bring the officials of the company to a criminal case on the fact of rendering services that do not meet the requirements of safety of life and health of consumers — the part 1 of the article 238 of the criminal code. The maximum penalty for this offence without serious consequences — 2 years imprisonment.

The transportation of people in the overloaded ship was carried out by the navigable company Tatflot JSC

Sources of Realoe Vremya claim that the leadership of Tatflot is not going to repent of their deeds yet, they are looking for a punching bag. In the office of Director General of Tatflot, the correspondent of our publication was reported that a comment on the prosecution investigation will not be earlier than Director General Sergei Zhukov would finish the meeting…

The victim from Bolgaria ship: ''It's just greed!''

''The overload at more than 100 people suggests that controlling transportation authorities, the same Rostransnadzor, have not made any conclusions!'' told Realnoe Vremya Gennady Ignorin who lost a son in the water accident of Bolgaria. We will remind that on 10 July 2011 on the way back from Bolgar to Kazan, the ship sank, claiming the lives of 122 passengers and crew members, including the captain of the ship. Ignorin reminded that Bolgaria ship was transporting 200 people with a maximum capacity of 120, while the number of boats on board were designed for only 156 people.

''What is more, most of these alleged saving means were technically unusable, for example, the lifejackets had no straps. It was revealed in court,'' recalled the victim. The latest emergency with overload, thank God, was without victims. However, prosecutors and investigators are to establish how technically safe is the vessel built in 1982. It is impossible to ignore the revealed emergency, Ignarin believes:

''Here we must punish severely! To revoke a license if it is! To bring the case to court and put in jail! Even the ship itself can be arrested, and to return only when they prove that all violations are eliminated. After all, if we do not punish such owners or tenants — we will have victims. It's just greed! For the sake of profit, the capitalist stops at nothing!..''


The latest emergency with an overload, thank God, was without victims

Aaccording to the verdict in the case of Bolgaria, all five defendants, director-sublessee of the ship Svetlana Inyakina, the assistant of the captain Ramil Khametov, senior expert of Rosrechregistr Yakov Ivashov and employees of Rostransnadzor Irek Timergazeyev and Vladislav Semenov, received real terms of imprisonment — from 5 to 9.5 years in colony.

Passengers complain about a reduction in the number of passages

In the working days people are a few on the river port. Unlike the weekend. Today, passengers came closer to 6 p.m. waiting for a flight to Pechischi with a stop in Verkhniy Uslon. Whiling away the time, one of the waited started a conversation with the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya. Tatyana sails by this transport since childhood and remembers that earlier the passages to the other bank of the Volga river were every hour, and now they are significantly less often. ''Many after the Bolgaria accident started to fear,'' says the woman, but believes that the reduction in flights has been not due to an outflow of passengers:

In the working days, people are a few at the river port

''Earlier, the vessel were going towards each other. Now just there is a lack of captains.''

Another passenger of the evening passage admitted that on the weekends the river ships are a bit overcrowded. But to see with the naked eye — if there are overweight or not – it is difficult. They have not heard about the inspection of the ''tram'' from Tashevka. But suggested that the reason for that is a reduction in the number of passages.


By Irina Plotnikova, Alesander Shakirov. Photo: Aleksander Shakirov