The Latest on China Boat Sinking: 10 more bodies recovered

Jun 4, 2015, 1:54 AM
Villagers watch rescuers work on the capsized ship, background, on the Yangtze River, in Dongshanzh...
Villagers watch rescuers work on the capsized ship, background, on the Yangtze River, in Dongshanzhen town, Hunan province, China Thursday, June 4, 2015. Rescuers cut into the upside-down hull of a river cruise ship and pulled out drowned passengers early Thursday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

4:30 p.m. (0830 GMT)

A local official says 10 more bodies have been recovered from the overturned ship, bringing the death toll to 75 with more than 360 still unaccounted for.

Jianli county chief Huang Zhen released the figure in an update to reporters on the recovery efforts Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, in Beijing, The Communist Party’s Poliburo Standing Committee, the country’s highest power, convened a meeting and issued a directive for officials to step up efforts to control public opinion about the disaster response.

It ordered them to both “understand the sorrow of the families” and “concretely preserve social stability.”

Some relatives have demanded help from officials in Nanjing and Shanghai to travel to the site in unruly scenes that have drawn a heavy police response.

___

2 p.m. (0600 GMT)

Bodies are being brought to the Jianli’s Rongcheng Crematorium, where at least two relatives of passengers are trying to identify loved ones.

One of them, a woman from the northeastern city of Tianjin who identified herself only by her surname, Zhang, says her mother was aboard the ship. She says authorities told her viewings would not be arranged until later.

“Mom was a wonderful person. She didn’t deserve to die like this,” Zhang says.

The death toll in the Yangtze River disaster reached 65 on Thursday. More than 370 people remain missing and are feared dead, and 14 have been rescued.

___

12:30 p.m. (0430 GMT)

Rescuers have now cut holes into the overturned hull of the cruise ship in three places — near the bow, middle and stern — to search for additional survivors, but have found none so far.

After checking each location, the workers are welding the removed sections of the hull back on and sealing them to maintain the ship’s buoyancy and balance.

At the same time, divers are working in three shifts underwater to search the ship’s cabins one by one.

The weather has been rainy since last night, but is tapering off as the day goes on.

Earlier Thursday, dressed in white scrubs, dozens of medical workers were standing next to rescuers as they pulled out more bodies from the ship.

On the nearby shore of the Yangtze River, relatives of some of the hundreds of victims still unaccounted for cried after being barred entry to the mortuary to seek information about their loved ones.

Access to the site remains blocked by police and paramilitary troops stationed along the Yangtze embankment, and the only information coming out is from the state-run media.

___

8:45 a.m. (0045 GMT)

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV says the death toll in the capsizing of a river cruise ship more than two days ago has risen to 65.

There were 456 people, including crew, thought to be on the vessel when it overturned in bad weather on the Yangtze River. Only 14 people have been rescued, and hopes have dimmed that any others will be found alive.

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The Latest on China Boat Sinking: 10 more bodies recovered