Wed | Sep 19, 2018

3-year-old among nearly 400 dead in boat tragedy

Published:Sunday | June 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM

JIANLI, China (AP):

Disaster teams searched the Yangtze River yesterday for dozens of missing bodies from the Eastern Star as the death toll in the cruiser's capsizing rose to nearly 400, making it China's deadliest boat disaster in nearly seven decades.

Authorities have attributed the overturning of the ship late last Monday to sudden, severe winds, but also have placed the captain and his first engineer in police custody.

The death toll rose to 396 after hundreds of bodies from the Eastern Star were found last Friday night and yesterday, including that of a 3-year-old girl in the top deck, officials said.

The boat had more than 450 people aboard, many of them elderly tourists, for a cruise from Nanjing to the south western city of Chongqing.

Fourteen people survived, including three pulled out by divers from air pockets in the overturned hull last Tuesday.

Forensic teams are using DNA matching to identify the remains, but haven't said how long the process would take.