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Mass drowning of children in Russia’s Karelia

Mass drowning of children in Russia’s Karelia
Up to 13 children have died and one has gone missing after three tourist vessels were caught in a lake storm in Karelia, northwest Russia. Forty-seven children and four adults were in the boats.
  • 20 June 2016

    16:18 GMT

    Forensic experts found out that the time of death of different victims of the Syamozero disaster varies widely, Life.ru reported.

    The first children died at around 5:30pm local time on June 18, while the last victim of the tragedy passed away at around 2pm on June 19.

  • 15:03 GMT

    Russia's Emergencies Ministry continues to search for the missing child in Karelia

  • 13:23 GMT

    The search for the body of the 14th child, who died in the Syamozero disaster, is continuing, authorities in the Republic of Karelia said.

  • 12:54 GMT

    Yulia Yablochkina, the sister of Karelia boat survivor Alya, shared some of her own thoughts on the camp and how it is run. Recalling her own time there, she says “there were problems with medical care. Many children were constantly ill, and the sick bay only had one or two doctors and only four beds.

    “I got sick myself at the end, but had to spend the time lying inside the tent, as there was no available space.

    “The camp crew were warned about the weather – I’m 100 percent certain, they were warned. There was information,” she said, adding that everyone among the camp staff had walkie-talkies.

  • 10:44 GMT

    Deputy Prime-Minister Olga Golodec has blamed the accident on an absolute lack of properly trained camp staff.

    "The camp didn’t have permission to carry out such boating trips; there were no qualified instructors; there was no appropriate equipment. The investigation will reveal all the violations. But now it’s already clear that the actions of those people were absolutely criminal," Golodets said.

    She added that all summer camps will from now on face the strictest checks.

  • 10:42 GMT

    Dmitry Medvedev has commented on the Karelian tragedy, calling it “an obvious case of criminal negligence.”

  • 10:15 GMT

    Footage from a Russian Emergencies Ministry plane, conducting a rescue operation on Syamozero Lake

  • 10:13 GMT

    The instructors from the camp were inexperienced students from the local pedagogical college, children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said.

  • 10:12 GMT

    At least five camp workers have been detained on suspicion of being involved in the lake tragedy, Russia’s Investigative Committee said. They all face up to 10 years in prison.

    "Now the investigation has information that when the group was going on its [lake] trip, children asked the instructors not to go, since the camp got rumors of a storm warning, but the instructors insisted on the trip,” said Vladimir Markin, the Committee’s spokesman.

  • 10:12 GMT

    The boyfriend of 19-year-old Lyudmila Vasiliyeva, the swimming instructor who is accused of negligence, told RT that working in the camp was hard for her.

    “No one told them about the storm. Children said they didn’t want to go on a trip. Camp workers and instructors were against [it],” he said.

    However, the camp coordinator told them to go, the man added.

    Vasiliyeva couldn’t leave the camp because working there was a part of her training at the university. “If she left she would have been expelled from the university,” Vasiliyeva’s boyfriend added.