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Search Operation for Russian Trawler Crew Continues

Russian emergencies ministry vessel conducts rescue operation after trawler Dalniy Vostok sank off the coast of Kamchatka, April 2, 2015.

Russian rescuers continued to search Friday for 13 crew members still missing from the trawler that sank in icy waters near Russia's Kamchatka peninsula earlier this week.

According to Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry, 56 people died when the trawler Dalniy Vostok sank Tuesday in the Sea of Okhotsk. Sixty-three crew members were rescued.

The ship's crew of 132 included 78 Russians. Another 42 were from Myanmar and the rest from Ukraine, Lithuania and Vanuatu.

U Aung Kyaw Moe, an official with Myanmar's embassy in Moscow, told the Voice of America’s Burmese Service that 22 Burmese crew members were rescued, according to Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry.

However, he said the Russian authorities did not know exactly how many Burmese crew members were missing or dead.

He also said that the process of identifying the bodies of those who died would take time, since rescue ships are not expected at the remote site of the wreck until Monday.

More than a dozen of local fishing vessels and some 2,000 people are involved in the rescue operation, Russian emergency services said.

The cause of the accident remains unknown, although officials said the ship may have hit an object in the water.

Russia's Investigative Committee has begun a probe into possible safety violations on board the ship, which sank in about 15 minutes and did not send a distress signal.

VOA’s Burmese Service contributed to this report.