At least 54 people died and scores others went missing on Thursday after a Russian fishing vessel sank off the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia’s state-run news agency reported.
Circumstances surrounding the shipwreck remain unclear in the incident in which more than 60 people were rescued from the chilly waters in Russia’s Far East.
The Dalniy Vostok freezer trawler, a commercial fishing vessel was carrying 132 people. Of these, 78 were Russians. The 54 others were foreign nationals from Myanmar, Ukraine, Lithuania and Vanuatu.
More than 20 fishing vessels are searching for the 15 people still thought to be missing.
The most likely cause of the shipwreck was collision with an obstacle which damaged the hull, the official spokesman of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, was quoted as saying.
The real cause of the wreckage is however still under investigation to find out whether it was an accident or a hijack mission by terrorists.