At least 13 children, 1 adult feared dead after storm hits boats in Russia

KARELIA, Russia, June 19 (UPI) — At least 13 children and one adult are feared dead after their vessels were caught in a storm in northern Russia’s Karelia region.

Forty-seven children and four adults from Moscow were on vacation at a summer camp on Lake Syamozero, Valentina Ulich, deputy head of Karelia’s government, said.

“One child isn’t yet found. The search continues,” Ulich said.

Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s state investigative agency SledKom, said an instructor was arrested for allegedly violating safety rules.

Five children were hospitalized, Russia’s Health Ministry said.

The children who died “apparently had no life vests” and those who “were wearing life vests, survived,” children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov was quoted in RT, the Russian government-funded television network.

Mostly adolescents aged between 12 and 15 were on two boats and a raft Saturday evening when the storm rose.

Authorities were alerted to the incident by a 12-year-old girl who was aboard one of the boats and washed ashore unconscious. She later walked along the coastline to the village of Kudama.

For days, there were repeated warnings advising against any boating on the lake, a regional MP, Alexei Gavrilov, reportedly told state TV channel Rossiya 24.

Monday was declared a day of mourning in the Republic of Karelia.

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