Death toll climbs to 396 in Chinese ship tragedy

Death toll rises to 396 as search continues for bodies in Yangtze river following China’s ship tragedy

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The death toll from a ship that tipped over on China’s Yangtze river has reached 396, according to Chinese state media on Saturday.

There were 456 passengers and crew in total in the ship Eastern Star, which overturned on Monday due to a storm.

Only 14 survivors, one of them the ship’s captain, have been found as the boat operator apologized and said they will fully co-operate during the investigation. Chinese officials pledged there will be no “cover up” in the probe.

Despite the authorities say that the chances to find anyone alive are waning, search and rescue team continue their work. More than 1,400 family members are waiting for any news from their loved ones as tension rise time to time.

Chinese Transport Ministry spokesman Xu Chengguang said at a news conference on Thursday: ‘’In a situation in which the overall judgment is that there is no chance of people being alive, we could start the work of righting the boat."

State media said it was the worst recorded ship disaster on the Yangtze River. In 1948, the steamship Kiangya blew up on the Huangpu river, killing more than 1,000 people.

TRTWorld and agencies