Fifteen Bulgarian tourists drown in Macedonian lake

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Skopje (Macedonia), Sep.6 (ANI): At least fifteen tourists, all of them Bulgarians, drowned as their overcrowded pleasure boat sank in the Lake Ohrid in Macedonia on Saturday.

The boat named Iliden was 200 metres from shore when it capsized in the lake famous for its deep turquoise waters, reports Sky News.

"More than 70 passengers were on the boat. Fifteen perished, four seriously injured were taken to hospital in Ohrid and about 50 survivors are at a local hotel," said Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska.

The captain of the Iliden was among the dead. People died in convulsions before my eyes. It was a nightmare," he added.

"The boat swerved sharply and capsized. It started to sink instantly and everybody tried to save their lives the way they could," one survivor called Ivan said

Built in Germany in 1924, the Iliden had a capacity of 53 passengers.

It was in good condition, with an operating permit, and insured with Lloyd's of London through 2010, said Macedonia's Transport Minister Mile Janakievski.

He later tendered his resignation for "ethical reasons".

Bulgarian officials blamed overcrowding as the likely cause of the tragedy. The government has declared a national day of mourning for Monday. (ANI)

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