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Bulgaria mourns the victims of the Ohrid tragedy

Submitted on Monday, 7 September 2009No Comment
Bulgaria mourns the victims of the Ohrid tragedy

Today, September 7th, is a day of nation-wide mourning for the victims of the sunk Macedonian ship “Ilinden” in the waters of the Ohrid lake.

Fifteen Bulgarian tourists died during the accident near the eastern edge of the Lake Ohrid. The prime minister ordered the governmental plane TU 154 to fly immediately to Skopje and, if necessary, bring the relatives of the victims to recognize the bodies.

If the weather permits it, the sunken ship “Ilinden” will be taken out of the water today. Bulgarian experts and their Croatian colleagues are at the site of the tragedy, searching for the causes. The municipality of Ohrid canceled the celebrations for the Day of independence (September 8th) to show respect to the tragedy of the 15 Bulgarian tourists. “Ohrid mourns the tragedy with Bulgaria”, stated the mayor of Ohrid Alexander Petreski. A delegation from Ohrid will arrive in Bulgaria for the funerals of the tourists.

There are several possible causes for the sinking of the Macedonian ship “Ilinden”.

The official version of the Macedonian foreign ministry is a torn steering rope entangled in the propeller. This announcement came immediately after the first search of the 85 year old ship.

According to the Bulgarian vice-minister of foreign relations Marin Raikov, who arrived in Ohrid hours after the tragedy, the most probable reason for the sunk ship is overload. According to data from the Macedonian police, there were 56 people on board, despite the limit of 43.

There are other, unofficial versions as well – mostly related to technical malfunctions.

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