At least 14 children at a Russian summer camp died Sunday in a boating accident that has devastated parents and that investigators have suggested is the result of criminal negligence by the camp's staff.
Police said three boats from the summer camp in Russia's northwestern Karelia region capsized during a storm on Lake Syamozero, plunging 47 children and four adults into the subarctic waters. Rescuers were still recovering bodies from the lake Sunday evening. Five children were hospitalized with hypothermia and trauma wounds.
Negligence and poor regulatory oversight have been the usual suspects for Russian investigators after similar tourism accidents in the past. Russia's worst boating accident in recent memory occurred in 2011, when the cruise ship Bulgaria sank in the Volga River in Russia's Tatarstan region, leaving 122 people dead. The accident prompted a full review of Russia's nautical-safety regulations, as now-President Vladimir Putin, who was then the prime minister, chastised the vessel's owners for their "negligence and greed."
On Sunday, a vast spectrum of Russian officials publicly demanded justice, accusing the summer camp's operators of lax attention to safety and suggesting that the children were not wearing safety vests.
Four people have been arrested on suspicion of safety violations.
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