Hundreds of people are missing after a tourist ship carrying more than 450 people sank on the Yangtze River in central China.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for ‘all-out efforts’ to save lives following the sinking of a passenger ship with 458 people onboard in the Hubei section of the Yangtze River on Monday night in central China.
Five bodies have been retrieved and at least 30 people rescued, including the captain and the ship’s chief engineer – who have both been detained – according to state media reports.
Divers are now underwater and they can hear banging coming from within the ship, as the search and rescue operations continue.
The rescue teams located the ship carrying 458 people in the Hubei section of China’s Yangtze River on Tuesday morning.
According to the Yangzte River navigation administration, the ship, named Eastern Star, sank at around 9:28 pm 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.
So far, 10 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 on board were between the ages of 50 and 80.
Search and rescue operations are underway. The Ministry of Transport says over a dozen rescue boats have been deployed to the site. Rescuers are having to contend with poor weather conditions in the area.