Yangtze Capsized Eastern Star death toll reaches 406

World Today

Local residents take part on a candlelight vigil to pay their respect to victims of the sunken ship in Jianli, in China’s Hubei province on June 4, 2015. Distraught and angry relatives rushed to the site of a capsized cruise ship in China seeking news of their loved ones, as rescue workers recovered dozens of dead bodies. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE

The death toll from the sinking of a Chinese cruise ship on the Yangtze River during freak weather climbed to 406 on Saturday, with some 36 still unaccounted for.

On Saturday morning, the body of the youngest victim, a three-year-old girl, was found on the fourth floor of the upturned ship, which was was righted and hoisted out of water on Friday.

Psychologist Ann Rosen Spector discusses how families can deal with tragedy

CCTV America's Mike Walter interviewed clinical psychologist Ann Rosen Spector about how family members of Eastern Star victims can cope with the tragedy.

Only 14 people survived the accident, and 46 people remain missing, according to the rescue headquarters in Jianli, central China’s Hubei Province.

The 2,200-tonne Eastern Star was carrying 456 people on an 11-day trip along China’s biggest river when it was capsized by a tornado near Jianli on Monday night.

Rescuers found six bodies after combing some 200 km of waterway downstream, Zhou Xuguang, commander of the Hubei Corps of the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force, said during a press conference on Saturday afternoon.

All cabins on the ship have now been sterilized to prevent any possible outbreak of disease.

Zhang Shifeng with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said on Saturday that families of the victims will be able pay tribute to the deceased in the vicinity of the accident site.

Local authorities have put the waters where the ship sank under traffic control indefinitely, said Xu Chengguang of the Ministry of Transport.

“We put the traffic control in place so as to better focus on salvage work,” Xu said.

Meanwhile, rescuers are trying to shed load from the Eastern Star to help it float on water by itself, as mattresses, sofas and quilts that rolled to the left side of the ship have absorbed too much water, making it hard for the cruiser to stay float. The ship is currently held afloat by three floating cranes.

On Friday night, Jiang Zhao, legal representative of Chongqing Dongfang Shipping Company that owns the Eastern Star, apologized to all the victims and their families and promised to cooperate with any investigation.

In a sign of mourning, China’s state and other major TV channels have suspended some programs from Saturday.

Jiangsu TV will halt all entertainment programs until Tuesday, including the hugely popular dating show “If you are the One,” it announced via microblog on Saturday.

Programs or advertisements highlighting celebrations will also be withdrawn for the next three days.

State broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) will suspend the popular talent show “Xing Guang Da Dao” (Avenue of Stars). Media reports said an evening gala and a dance contest scheduled for Saturday night will be replaced by charity-related programs.

A Saturday comedy show produced by Dragon TV will also be postponed to another date.

The 76.5-meter vessel had been in service for nearly 20 years and can carry up to 534 people. It went through an annual maintenance in late 2014, and was qualified to cruise until April 25, 2016, according to Jiang.

More than 3,400 soldiers and 1,700 police together with 149 vessels and a helicopter have taken part in the search and rescue mission.

Story from Xinhua


Jianli County provides support to victims’ families

Over 1,400 family members of victims of the capsized Eastern Star cruise ship are currently staying in Jianli County, near the site of the incident in central China’s Hubei Province. The county has mobilized all resources possible to help them.CCTV-America’s Ding Siyue filed the report from Jianli, Hubei Province of China.

Jianli County provides support to victims\' families

Over 1,400 family members of victims of the capsized Eastern Star cruise ship are currently staying in Jianli County, near the site of the incident in central China's Hubei Province. The county has mobilized all resources possible to help them. CCTV-America's Ding Siyue filed the report from Jianli, Hubei Province of China.

Highlight:

  • Since Thursday, about 400 taxis and 1,500 private cars with yellow ribbons tied around their side-view mirrors have been offering free rides to arriving family members in the county. Hotels are also providing free stays.

Divers recall the moment they discovered survivors’ families

The navy divers managed to save two passengers from inside the ship. But it was unclear that how they discovered the survivors and what risks they were up against. CCTV-America’s Zou Yue filed the report from Jianli, Hubei Province of China

Divers recall the moment they discovered survivors\' families

Divers recall the moment they discovered survivors' families The navy divers managed to save two passengers from inside the ship. But it was unclear that how they discovered the survivors and what risks they were up against.CCTV-America's Zou Yue filed the report from Jianli, Hubei Province of China


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Captain Jim Staples on Yangtze Ferry safety

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CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar interviewed Tim Taylor, the president of Tiburon Subsea Services about the salvage efforts on the Yangtze River following the Eastern Star capsize.

Tim Taylor discusses Eastern Star salvage efforts

CCTV America's Asieh Namdar interviewed Tim Taylor, the president of Tiburon Subsea Services about the salvage efforts on the Yangtze River following the Eastern Star capsize.