The Eastern Star capsized late Monday in stormy weather as it carried 458 passengers mostly senior citizens and crew members along a stretch of the Yangtze river that winds through central China’s Hubei province, authorities said.
More than 1,000 armed police officers sent to site, Chinese state news agency says
By Tuesday night, only 15 survivors and five bodies had been recovered.
Rescuers battled darkness and rain in a desperate effort to reach those trapped inside the wreck.
The survivors included the ship’s captain and chief engineer, who were taken into custody for questioning.
The vessel sank in Jianli County in Hubei province. It was sailing between two of China’s largest cities, from Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, on the east coast, to Chongqing, an interior metropolis and one of the country’s biggest cities. That journey takes several days.
The Eastern Star had been making a multi-stop journey up the river from Nanjing to Chongqing, a city hundreds of kilometers inland. River cruises along the Yangtze are popular among both Chinese and international tourists.