Chinese Ship Capsizes on Yangtze River with Hundreds Missing
It was a very sad Tuesday morning for the people of China as a tourist boat carrying at least 450 people capsized in the Yangtze River on Monday night. Rescue operations have been surmounted but the accident has already taken its toll.
The accident occurred because of the unpredictability of Mother Nature – a cyclone occurred at a place called Jianli in Hubei province. The powerful cyclone carried with it winds of immense force that caused the boat to capsize. Some media channels in China have reported that there survivors who are still stuck in the overturned ship. Officials have sent teams to rescue them. So far only about 11 people have been rescued out of a reported 458 on the boat. Soldiers, policemen and citizens have all joined hands to help rescue the missing people. Over 2,100 of them have helped with rescue operations along with 150 ships. Most of the passengers on the tourist boat are unfortunately tourists who fall in the 50-80 age bracket. They were about to go to sleep when the cyclone hit and the tourist boat sank. Chinese State run news portal Xinhua has reported that out of the total number of passengers, 405 passengers were Chinese nationals along with 47 crew members and five travel agents. The ships course was set from its starting point in Nanjing to what was supposed to be its final destination Chongqing. This tragedy was inevitable as the Yangtze River is one of the most popular spots for tourist rides along the river. First of all the river is massive, it is the world’s third longest river but the longest river in the world within a single country. Stretching from a land of remote mountains and dry plains, it winds its way through the canyon gorges to fertile regions of connecting lakes as well as waterways. As you can probably imagine it is quite a thing of nature and sustains all sorts of forms of life. The internal topography of the river is just as wild as it is on the outside. The captain and the chief engineer of the boats were detained by the police for questioning and possible litigation and/or sentencing. China’s own weather department has confirmed that the boat was indeed hit by a cyclone which was stronger than a 12 scale. The police have their hands full as the relatives of those capsized with the boat are subjecting the police to a bout of incessant questioning. So it comes as no surprise that the police went on to detain the captain and chief engineer as for once it is the people who are questioning the police and not the other way round. The relatives of those stuck in the boat demanded an official passenger list from the travel company that had arranged the cruise through China’s famed Yangtze River. When the agency didn’t respond, they turned on the local government, storming city district offices and the cornering officials to ask them to force the cruise company to help them. Police were called to control the situation.
We hope that those in need of rescuing are rescued fast enough or else it is the authorities who will need the rescuing this time.