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Cruise Ship Capsizes In China, Leaving Hundreds Unaccounted For

Rescuers pull a survivor from an overturned passenger ship in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei province on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people are unaccounted for after a cruise ship capsized on China's Yangtze River on Monday.

According to The Associated Press, the vessel was carrying more than 400 people and authorities have rescued 15.

The AP reports:

"The cruise was from Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing, and many of those aboard were elderly.

"Some of the survivors swam ashore, but others were rescued more than 12 hours after the ship went down, after search teams climbed aboard the upside-down hull and heard people calling out from within."

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that both the captain and the chief engineer of the ship have been rescued.

The agency said both of them "claimed the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone."

The Wall Street Journal reported:

"Relatives and friends of passengers jammed the fifth floor of an office building that houses river cruise organizer Shanghai Xiehe Travel Agency, asking for information about those onboard. Many said the tour agency hadn't informed them about the accident and that they only learned of it from media accounts.

" 'How can they be so irresponsible? There has been no word from them,' said 59-year-old Ji Fumin, who said his wife, his wife's aunt and a friend were on board the ship. ...

"Authorities said they were trying to piece together what had happened to the Eastern Star on Monday night as it passed through Jianli county in central Hubei province. The area has experienced heavy rains in recent days."

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