China rescuers right ship to speed up search for missing
Updated: 2015-06-05 11:43
The ship is fully turned over. [Photo/Xinhua]
On Thursday, rescuers had cut three holes into the overturned hull in unsuccessful attempts to find more survivors.
More than 200 divers have worked underwater in three shifts to search the ship's cabins one by one, state broadcaster CCTV said. Rescuers pulled out dozens of bodies Thursday which were taken to Jianli's Rongcheng Crematorium, in Hubei province, where relatives tried to identify them.
Many of the more than 450 people on board the multi-decked, 251-foot (77-meter) -long Eastern Star were reported to be retirees taking in the scenic vistas of the Yangtze on a cruise from Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing.
The capsize of the Eastern Star will likely become the country's deadliest boat disaster in seven decades, and Chinese authorities have launched a high-profile response that has included sending Premier Li Keqiang to the accident site.
The survivors included the ship's captain and chief engineer, both of whom have been taken into police custody.
The cruise ship carrying mainly elderly tourists was on a 11-day trip along the Yangtze River when it was immediately overturned by a freak tornado on Monday night in Jianli in central China's Hubei Province.