11 dead as boats collide in Russian city hosting World Cup

Two boats collided near a Russian city that is hosting the World Cup, killing 11 people, authorities said Tuesday. A state media report said the captain of one of the vessels was drunk.

The accident occurred late Monday on the Volga River several hundred meters (yards) off the shoreline of the city of Volgograd in southern Russia. According to a statement from regional emergency officials, a barge being pulled by a towboat collided with a paddleboat carrying 16 people on a sightseeing tour.

The statement said 11 people were killed and five others were rescued. Authorities have started an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Vyacheslav Barkanov, a medical examiner investigating the case, said the captain of the paddleboat was drunk, the state news agency Tass reported.

Volgograd, a city of about 1 million people, is hosting the World Cup along with 10 other Russian cities. The soccer championship runs from Thursday until July 15.