Ship sinks in China’s Yangtze River with 458 aboard

Posted at 11:06 PM, Jun 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-01 23:06:13-04

HONG KONG — Chinese rescuers are scrambling to find survivors from a passenger ship that sank in the Yangtze River with 458 people aboard late Monday, authorities said.

Eight people have been rescued so far, including the captain and the chief engineer, according to China’s state-run news agency Xinhua.

But there was no word on the fate of the 450 others.

The ship, the Eastern Star, went down around 9:30 p.m. Monday during a storm over the section of the river that flows through the central province of Hubei, Xinhua reported, citing the Yangtze River navigation administration.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and other senior officials are on their way to the site of the accident in Hubei’s Jianli county to oversee the emergency response, the news agency reported.

The rescue efforts were initially complicated by bad weather, according to Xinhua.

The Eastern Star was reported to have been traveling from Nanjing in eastern China to Chongqing, a city more than 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) inland. Xinhua said that there were 405 passengers, 47 crew members and five travel agency workers on board.