The death toll from the sinking of a pleasure boat in the Moscow River after its collision with a cargo barge has risen to nine people, Russia's Investigative Committee said on Sunday.
"On July 31, 2011, at about 1:30 a.m., a small-sized vessel collided with a barge in the Moscow River across the Luzhniki sports center. As a result, the vessel sank with nine passengers on its board, including captain Gennady Zinger. All of them died in the accident. Seven passengers were rescued, including a Turkish national," the Investigative Committee said.
The vessel, which was registered in Russia's easternmost province of Chukotka, had permission to carry no more than 12 passengers, the committee said.
The Investigative Committee has launched a criminal probe into the violation of water transport safety and operation rules.
The incident comes less than a month after two-deck cruise ship Bulgaria carrying 201 people capsized and sank on the Volga River, killing 122 passengers, including children. Only 79 people were rescued.
The ship, built in 1955 and last overhauled 30 years ago, had no license to carry passengers and was heavily overloaded when it left port on its fateful voyage with only one of its two engines working.
Following the sinking of the cruise ship Bulgaria, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered total checks of all passenger transport in the country.