450 Missing in China Ship Disaster

Only 10 people rescued so far
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2015 6:24 PM CDT
Passenger Ship With 444 People Sinks in China
A Chinese man carrying his child in his arm, leans on a railing as he stands in flood waters on the bank of a river in Wuhan, in Chinas central Hubei Province, Thursday, July 26, 2007.   (AP Photo/EyePress)

A small cruise ship sank overnight in China's Yangtze River during a storm, leaving at least one person dead and nearly 450 people missing, most of them elderly, state media reports. Ten people have been rescued so far. Search teams heard sounds coming from within the partially submerged ship about 12 hours after it went down and were trying to confirm whether they were from survivors trapped inside, state broadcaster CCTV says. Footage from the broadcaster showed rescuers in orange life vests climbing on top of the upside-down hull, with one of them lying down tapping a hammer and listening for a response, then pointing downward.

The boat was traveling from Nanjing upstream to the southwestern city of Chongqing when it sank Monday night in Hubei province. The official Xinhua News Agency quoted the captain and chief engineer, who were both rescued, as saying the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone. The Communist Party-run People's Daily says the ship sank within two minutes. CCTV says the four-level ship had been carrying 406 Chinese passengers, five travel agency employees, and 47 crew members. The broadcaster says 10 people were rescued and that one person was confirmed dead; seven of the survivors swam to shore and alerted authorities to the sinking. More than 50 boats and 3,000 people are involved in search efforts. (More China stories.)

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