China collects 'multitude' of evidence in sinking ship wreck

Chinese authorities report collecting 'multitude' of evidence after investigation team reveal reasons of disaster

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Chinese investigation teams on Wednesday interviewed survivors of the cruise ship which overturned on the Yangtze River last week and also handed a "multitude of first-hand evidence” from the cruise, state media said.   

China assigned a 60-member investigation team which was composed of meteorologists, ship designers and manufacturers to investigate the disaster, according to Xinhua News.   

Just 14 people, including the vessel’s captain, survived after the Eastern Star cruise ship, carrying 456 passengers, overturned due to heavy rain resulting from a storm on Yangtze river on Monday night.   

"It is subdivided into five groups probing meteorological conditions at the time of the Eastern Star's sinking, the structure and retrofitting of the ship, its fitness to sail and sailors' responsibility, and shipping safety supervision on the Yangtze River," the news agency said.

"Investigators have interviewed survivors, the captain included, shipping company managers, designers and builders of the Eastern Star, and witnesses from other ships," it added.   

Interviews were conducted with surviving crew members, witnesses, those who designed and modified the ship and others while investigators also collected a "multitude of first-hand evidence”.

Computer specialists are working on video devices which were found in the sinking ship on Friday to recover footage and GPS data, according to Xinhua.

“The investigation will be complex and the causes of the sinking can only be determined through scrupulous scientific methods and simulation tests," it added.

The company which owns the cruise ship said that it is ready to cooperate with the government to reveal whatever caused the ship’s collapse.

The Chinese government promised last week that there would be "no cover-up” and an open investigation would take place.

The captain and chief engineer of the ship were arrested as a part of the investigation. According to an initial probe, the ship was not overloaded and it had an adequate number of lifejackets on the board.

TRTWorld and agencies