As Survivors Yell for Help, Ship's Captain Detained

More than 400 still missing in Yangtze disaster
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 2, 2015 5:32 AM CDT
As Survivors Yell for Help, Ship's Captain Detained
Rescue workers stand on the capsized ship, center, on the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei province.   (Chinatopix via AP)

Divers have pulled two people alive from inside a capsized cruise ship and are preparing to rescue at least four more, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV says, giving some small hope to an apparently massive tragedy with well over 400 people still missing on the Yangtze River. Only 18 people are known to have survived the capsizing of the ship, which held 458 people, most of them elderly passengers. At least seven swam ashore, but others were rescued more than 12 hours after the ship went down last night after search teams climbed aboard the upside-down hull and heard survivors call for help.

Five people have been confirmed dead in the accident in Hubei province. The ship's captain and the chief engineer both survived. They have been detained for questioning and have told investigators that the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone, according to the official Xinhua news agency. In Shanghai, where many of the ship's passengers started out, relatives angered by a lack of information have scuffled with officials, reports Reuters, which notes that this is likely to be China's worst shipping disaster in more than 70 years. CCTV says more than 1,000 armed police officers, 30 soldiers, and 140 navy divers have been sent to the site. (More Yangtze River stories.)

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