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Rescuers seek 14 after fatal boating accident

Updated: 2016-06-06 02:37
By HUANG ZHILING (China Daily)

Rescuers seek 14 after fatal boating accident

Rescuers use sonar radar and an underwater camera in the search for survivors in Guangyuan, Sichuan province, on Sunday. Gao zhinong/for China Daily

Rescuers were still searching on Sunday for 14 passengers missing after a fatal boating accident in Sichuan province.

The accident happened on Saturday afternoon when a leisure boat capsized in gales on White Dragon Lake in the Lizhou district of Guangyuan, the northernmost city in the province.

One child died in a hospital. Three survivors are under observation at Lizhou District No 2 People's Hospital, said Zeng Jia, a doctor.

Li Jijun, an information officer with the Lizhou district committee of the Communist Party of China, said, "Rescuers worked day and night and have found the sunken boat."

The local weather bureau said the boat sank in extreme weather conditions, when a wind speed of 17.5 meters per second was recorded.

The boat, designed to carry 40 passengers, had 18 people on board when it capsized, including Zhou Piqiang, the 49-year-old owner of the vessel, his wife Wang Xingju, 43, and son Zhou Lin, 4. All three are among those missing.

Of the 15 passengers, five are young women and another five are children.

Rescuers were divided into two groups. One group tried to find the sunken boat, while the other cruised the scene of the accident and areas 10 km away from the site on the upper and lower shores of the lake.

As the water depth at the accident scene was beyond the reach of divers, rescuers relied on sonar and images taken underwater to identify the boat.

Li Xiang, a member of the civilian group Blue Sky Rescue, said the boat sank in waters more than 65 meters deep.

On Sunday, a robotic device was being transported from Nanjing, Jiangsu province, to Guangyuan, and was expected to arrive within 24 hours. It would be used to recover the lost boat, Li said.

All tour boat operations have been suspended in Guangyuan for safety checks, said Yang Mingguang, deputy chief of the city government's information office.



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