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14 Dead After Ukrainian Boat Capsizes Off Odessa

Ukrainian police officers investigating the coast near where the boat capsized by the major port city of Odessa.

Fourteen people were killed and 18 hospitalized after a tour boat overturned in the Black Sea near Ukraine's major port city of Odessa on Saturday, officials said.

The boat was carrying 36 people, Russia's RIA Novosti state-run news agency reported.

The captain of the boat had violated nearly every seafaring instruction, said Gennady Zubko, Ukraine's deputy prime minister. He took on board three times as many people as the boat could safely carry, hadn't had it inspected before the trip, and had failed to log his departure, Zubko was cited by RIA Novosti as saying.

When the boat capsized, the captain didn't send a distress signal, Zubko said. "It was only from radio talks that we found out the tragedy had occurred," he added.

Odessa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili told the BBC's bureau in Ukraine that the owner of the boat had disappeared and was hiding from law enforcement agencies. The captain of the boat — the owner's son — has been arrested, Saakashvili said.

The Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry said in a statement that the boat was en route to its berth about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Odessa when it capsized on Saturday afternoon.

A photo of the boat published by the Ukrainian news agency Unian shows it as a small motor vessel with awning-shaded viewing areas both fore and aft.

Material from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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