Hundreds More Bodies Recovered From China Ship

Death toll is nearly 400
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 6, 2015 8:58 AM CDT
Hundreds More Bodies Recovered From China Ship
   (Bai Yu)

Disaster teams searched the Yangtze River today for dozens of missing bodies from the Eastern Star as the death toll in the cruiser's capsizing rose to nearly 400, making it China's deadliest boat disaster in nearly seven decades. The death toll rose to 396 after hundreds of more bodies were found last night and today, including that of a 3-year-old girl in the top deck, officials said. Another 46 people were still missing, and authorities asked boaters and others along the river to alert them if they noticed floating bodies.

Authorities have attributed the overturning of the ship late Monday to sudden, severe winds, but also have placed the captain and his first engineer in police custody. Passengers' relatives have raised questions about whether the ship should have continued its cruise after the storm started in a section of Hubei province and despite a weather warning earlier in the evening. The boat had more than 450 people aboard, many of them elderly tourists, for a cruise from Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing. Fourteen people survived, including three pulled out by divers from air pockets in the overturned hull on Tuesday. (More Yangtze River stories.)

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