Chinese ship carrying 458 sinks in storm on Yangtze – USA TODAY
A Chinese passenger ship carrying 458 people on the Yangtze River sank in a storm Monday night and more than 400 remain missing, state media reported.
Rescue workers pulled six passengers to safety after hearing cried for help from within the capsized hull, according to CCTV.
At least 12 others were saved, including the captain and the chief engineer, and Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered “all-out rescue efforts,” the official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday.
The captain and chief engineer have been taken into police custody, CCTV reports.
More than 50 boats and 3,000 people were involved in search efforts and divers were deployed. Strong winds and heavy rain were hampering rescue workers.
Premier Li Keqiang was heading to the scene, in Hubei province, to direct the rescue work, Xinhua said.
The Eastern Star was carrying 405 Chinese passengers, five travel agency employees and 47 crew when it went down about 9:30 p.m. Most of the passengers were seniors, reportedly between about 50 to 80 years old.
Huang Yan, 49, an accountant in Shanghai, wept as she told a reporter that she believes that her husband, 49, and his father, who is in his 70s, were aboard the boat. But she said she couldn’t be sure because she hadn’t seen an official passenger list yet.
“Why did the captain leave the ship while the passengers were still missing?” Yan shouted. “We want the government to release the name list to see who was on the boat.”
The ship was travelling from the eastern city of Nanjing to Chongqing in the southwest. State-run CCTV said the vessel was owned by the Chongqing Eastern Shipping Corp., which runs tours to the scenic Three Gorges river canyon on the river, the longest in Asia, the BBC reported.
Contributing: The Associated Press