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Massive operation launched to rescue ship passengers

Updated: 2015-06-02 08:44

Massive operation launched to rescue ship passengers

Rescuers head to the site where the ship sank in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province June 2, 2015. [Photo/IC]

WUHAN - A passenger ship carrying 458 people sank Monday night in the Hubei section of China's Yangtze River.

The ship, named Dongfangzhixing (Eastern Star), sank at around 9:28 p.m. in the Jianli (Hubei Province) section of the Yangtze River, according to the Yangtze River navigation administration.

The captain and the chief engineer, who have been rescued, both claimed the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone.

It was heading from Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, to southwest China's Chongqing city.

There were 405 Chinese passengers, five travel agency workers and 47 crew members aboard, according to the administration.

Eight people have been rescued.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered a work team of the State Council to rush to the site to guide search and rescue work, and ordered Hubei, Chongqing and relevant parties to carry out all-out search and rescue efforts and properly handle the aftermath.

He also ordered beefing up public safety measures and ensuring the safety of people's lives.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has instructed a work team of the State Council to rush to the site to guide search and rescue work and ordered the Ministry of Transport and other relevant parties to moblize all resources available to speed up the search and rescue work and the treatment of the rescued victims.

On behalf of Xi, Li Keqiang has left for the site of the accident to direct rescue and emergency handling affairs.

Rescue work is hampered by strong wind and heavy rain.

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