The Latest on China Boat Sinking: Divers find more bodies

AP News
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Posted: Jun 04, 2015 11:51 PM
The Latest on China Boat Sinking: Divers find more bodies

11:25 a.m. (0325 GMT)

A transport ministry spokesman says divers have found more bodies as they worked overnight to attach iron chains to the cruise ship, bringing the death toll to 97. More than 330 others are still missing.

Xi Chengguang told a news conference in Jianli on Friday that attaching the four chains was the most difficult part of the operation to lift up the Eastern Star, as more than 50 divers had to deal with the flow of the water and rocks.

Xu says the next step is to drain the water from inside the boat before salvaging it, and finding and identifying bodies.

In Jianli overnight, relatives cried and comforted each other as they gathered for a candlelight vigil.

Speaking before the operation to lift up the ship, Xu said Thursday that chances of finding anyone else alive were "very slim."

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9:15 a.m. (0115 GMT)

Chinese state media say that rescue workers have now righted the river cruise ship that capsized in bad weather on Monday night in the Yangtze River. That will quicken the search for the more than 360 who are still missing from the accident.

Nearly 80 bodies were recovered before the ship was righted. There were 14 survivors.

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.