At Least 54 Dead As Russian Trawler Sinks

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A Russian trawler with an international crew of 132 people has sunk in the Pacific, killing at least 54 crew.

The boat sank in the Sea of Okhotsk off the Kamchatka Peninsula, in eastern Russia.

Emergency crews said 63 crew members were rescued and 15 people are still missing.

More than 25 fishing boats in the area helped to rescue the crew members.

The Interfax news agency said drifting ice in the chilly Pacific waters may have played a role in the sinking.

Meanwhile, Russia’s TASS news agency cited an official as saying the crew might have violated safety rules by exceeding the capacity of cargo storage.

Besides Russia, Interfax said crew members came from Latvia, Ukraine, Myanmar and Vanuatu.

Russia has a dismal air, road and water safety record, with negligence and corruption often the cause of accidents.

In 2011, an ageing, overcrowded tourist boat sank in Russia’s Volga River, killing nearly 130 people in one of the worst post-Soviet ship disasters.

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