Massive Rescue Underway as Boat Carrying 458 Capsizes in Yangtze River

Wuhan, China, June 2, 2015, / — Divers are now underwater and they can hear banging coming from within the ship, as the search and rescue operations continue after a passenger ship sank Monday night in central China’s Hubei province.
Rescuers work at the ship sinking site in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China (from

Rescuers work at the ship sinking site in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China’s Hubei Province June 2, 2015. A passenger ship carrying 458 people sunk Monday night in the Yangtze River, China’s longest. More than 20 people have been rescued. (Xinhua)

The rescue teams on Tuesday morning located the ship carrying 458 people in the Hubei section of China’s Yangtze River.

According to the Yangtze River navigation administration, the ship, named Eastern Star, sank at around 9:28 p.m. Monday in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River.

The ship is upside down in 15 meters of water with a part of its hull visible. It was heading from Nanjing, capital city of east China’s Jiangsu province, to southwest China’s Chongqing municipal city.

There were altogether 458 people on board, including 406 passengers, 5 travel agency workers and 47 crew members.

Ten people have been rescued from the water, including the captain and the chief engineer of the ship. And one body of the victims has been found from the water.

Those rescued claimed the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone. A local newspaper reports that most passengers were between the ages of 50 and 80.

Search and rescue operations are underway. The Ministry of Transport says more than a dozen rescue boats have been deployed to the site. Rescuers are having to contend with poor weather conditions in the area.

President Xi orders all out efforts in rescue work

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered that no efforts should be spared by rescue services in their efforts to save passengers of the Dongfangzhixing (Eastern Star) ship, which sank at around 9:28 p.m. Monday in the Jianli (Hubei province) section of the Yangtze River.

Premier Li Keqiang is headed to the site of the accident in central Hubei province and is holding a emergency meeting in his airplane.

The Transport Ministry has launched a top level emergency response and formed a lead group chaired by the transport minister.

Fifty vessels nearby the accident site have been ordered to join in the search and rescue operation.

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