Chinese Passenger Ship Sinks, Hundreds Missing

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                                                                                                          Credits : STR / AFP

A Ship carrying 458 passengers capsized on the Yangtze river due to a storm late on Monday (1st June 2015). Only 12 passengers have been rescued so far from the four-deck ship Eastern Star. The official Xinhua news agency said rescuers could hear people calling for help from inside the hull of the vessel which has capsized. Rescuers are working on to cut the steel hull amidst strong current and wind due to the storm.

Heavy rains keep the rescue boats challenged in approaching the stricken vessel. Based on the preliminary investigation, it was reported that the vessel was not overloaded and it had enough life vests on board. Among those on board the ship were 406 tourists, aged from around 50 to 80, on a tour organised by a Shanghai tour group, and 47 crew members, the People’s Daily said. State radio reported that the ship sank within about two minutes and that no distress call had been issued.

 Accidents of this magnitude are uncommon in China, where major rivers are used for transportation, tours and cruises. The incident is the worst on the Yangtze since a tug undergoing sea trials sank in January, killing 22 of the 25 people on board.

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