Alcohol Suspected as Passenger Ship, Barge Collide in Russia

A German-operated river cruise ship with nearly 300 people on board collided with a barge on Wednesday night in the Rybinsk Reservoir on the Volga River.

There were no injuries reported in the collision of the VIKING KIROV and the barge. The barge was carrying a cargo of 4.5 tons of sand when the collision occurred.

There was no immediate official reason given as the cause of the accident, however Russian media cited authorities as suspecting alcohol use by the barge operator was a possible factor.

The collision took place 2 kilometers off shore. Rescue vessels evacuated the passengers to Rybinsk, where they were treated by doctors. They were then boarded on buses to continue on to Moscow.

Among the people on board were 168 American and British nationals and 15 Germans, along with 114 crew members.

The Viking Kirov was on a 13-day river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow. It’s owner the Cologne, Germany-based Viking Flusskreuzfahrten company, reported that the ship had developed a leak and could not continue the journey.