Four days after the Eastern Star capsized along the Yangtze River with more than 450 people aboard, the cabins of the cruise ship emerged in full view for the first time Friday.
In a moment awaited by rescuers and families of the victims, cranes on barges pulled the iron chains attached to the overturned vessel and lifted upright the multi-decked, 251-foot (77-meter) -long ship.
It revealed top-deck cabins with smashed blue roofs jutting out of the river. Much of the water had to be drained from the wreckage and part of it is still submerged.
From the embankment of the Yangtze and nearby boats and barges, rescue workers in multi-color uniforms watched intently as the ship was being turned upright. After days and nights of diving under the wreckage and drilling holes into the hull in search of the missing, turning the ship back up will make the work easier.
The weather was sunny following drizzle and winds that hampered the operation for most of the week, and the waters appeared calm.