Russia: 30 children among 110 bodies found

RUSSIAN rescuers found the bodies of 110 people, including 30 children, in a Bulgarian cruise ship that sank in the Volga River.

Divers searching the wreck of the Bulgaria, which sank on Sunday, have reportedly seen more than 100 corpses trapped inside the pleasure craft when they recovered eight bodies.

Nine people have so far been confirmed dead.

One woman was found on Sunday and eight other bodies were pulled from the wreck overnight, Australia's ABC reports.

Emergency services said there was little chance of finding those still missing after 80 survivors were pulled from the water, Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun reports.

Emergencies center chief Igor Panshin said divers who worked through the night had seen dead people on the vessel in the restaurant areas and holds, Itar-Tass news agency reported.

The double-deck tourist boat - on its way to Kazan from Bolgar - sank about 2pm local time near the village of Syukeyevo in the central republic of Tatarstan, about 450 miles east of Moscow.

Survivors said the overcrowded Bulgaria listed to its side and sank in minutes during stormy weather just three kilometers from shore with nearly 200 people on board.

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The boat, which was built in 1955 in Czechoslovakia, had set out for a cruise in the Kuybyshev Reservoir, a broad lake formed from the upper Volga, the New York Times reports.

Survivors reportedly said that when the boat sank, crew members only had time to open two lifeboats, the Associated Press reports. They were only able to release one from the boat.

Another tour boat arrived at the scene first and found people clinging to debris and life vests, the Times states. The other boat managed to pull 82 survivors from the water.

Authorities have cited bad weather, mechanical failure and overcrowding as possible reasons for why the boat sank, BBC reports.

The Volga is Europe's longest river and is a popular tourist destination in the summer.