Chinese rescuers prepare to lift righted cruise ship from Yangtze – CNN

Jianli County, China (CNN)Salvage crews carried out an elaborate operation of uprighting the capsized Chinese cruise ship after hopes of finding survivors among the hundreds trapped inside receded.

State television showed the battered blue Eastern Star cruise still partially submerged and surrounded by floating cranes in the muddy waters of the Yangtze River.

So far, divers have recovered the bodies of at least 97 victims from the wreck.

At least 456 passengers and crew were on board the vessel when it overturned in a powerful storm Monday night. Only 14 survivors escaped from the ship.

By Thursday evening, life detector and dive searches had yielded no new survivors, so authorities proceeded with salvage efforts.

Crews are preparing to drain the water in the ship and then have it float on its own, said Xu Chengguang, Transport Ministry spokesman. They are also preparing to deal with potential oil leaks from the ship, he added. The vessel could be lifted from the water by the afternoon.

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