Chinese ship capsizes on Yangtze with hundreds missing
Reported by BBC News
Five people have died and hundreds are missing after a cruise ship carrying 458 people capsized on the Yangtze River in China’s Hubei province.
The ship is floating upside down in a wide stretch of river – state media said rescuers tapping the hull had heard calls for help from inside.
The boat, the Eastern Star, reportedly sent no emergency signal.
Media reports say the alarm was raised by several people who had swum to shore and alerted the police.
Most of those on board were tourists aged around 50 to 80 travelling from the eastern city of Nanjing to Chongqing in the south-west – a journey of at least 1,500km (930 miles).
Analysis: John Sudworth, BBC News, Beijing
No doubt for some of those on the Eastern Star it would have been the trip of a lifetime.
And the Three Gorges Dam, a place of pilgrimage in its own right and a powerful symbol of China’s rising economic might attracting around two million visitors a year, now has its part to play in the rescue. The dam’s engineers have been ordered to reduce the water volume flowing through the giant turbines.
The sinking of the Eastern Star will resonate widely.
A boat full of everyday Chinese tourists – from grandmothers and grandfathers down to the youngest listed passenger at just three years old – has been lost in the waters of the country’s best loved river.
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