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Trial Starts In Tatarstan Over 2011 Riverboat Tragedy

The riverboat "Bulgaria" is seen on the Volga River outside the Russian city of Samara in an August 2010 photo, less than a year before the disaster.
A court in the capital of Russia's Republic of Tatarstan has opened hearings into the sinking two years ago on the Volga River of a tourist boat in which 122 people died.

Some 200 witnesses and victims are attending the trial in Kazan.

Five defendants in the trial over the "Bulgaria" sinking -- including a tourist company official, an aide to the ship's captain, and local river transportation safety officials -- have been charged in the case.

The charges include violations of river transportation regulations, violations of safety regulations aboard a vessel, negligence, and mishandling of a river vessel resulting in mass deaths.

The July 2011 tragedy was Russia's worst riverboat disaster in decades.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax