An 11-day Chinese cruise ship journey came to an end during a violent tornado storm on Monday (June 1) night. A total of 456 passengers were on the ship, mostly consisting of retirees and their families. Just over 400 bodies have been recovered, with 16 survivors and 40 bodies still missing. Of the 16 survivors, the captain was one of them and he is being held in custody for questioning. This is China’s first ship disaster in over seven decades, with many family members fearing deaths of their loved ones; indeed, the country is in mourning. This China ship disaster totals over 400 dead as of Saturday (June 6).
The Chinese cruise ship was traveling down the Yangtze River and a tornado hit; instead of anchoring and waiting the storm out like the other ships on the water, however, the captain chose to push forward through the heavy winds and rain, so claims a survivor. The captain and chief engineer are currently being held in custody for more questioning as the investigation continues. The boat operator has issued an apology and has stated the corporation will cooperate with any investigations.
So far, the investigations proved that there were enough life vests for each of the passengers and that the ship was not overloaded. The ship just overturned in the storm on Monday night with very little notice being given, claim the survivors. More than 1,400 family members have traveled to Jianli the place where the ship went down to find out more about the tragedy and in hopes of seeing their family members. The families are frustrated with the government for not being able to answer any questions and no information has been given out yet. However, the government is said to have cooperated in providing free accommodations for families and survivors as well as medical care and the government claims that the search party is still looking for more bodies. This disaster for China was a big one, with so many fears from family members who traveled so far.
Many of the families claim that the government is procrastinating in answering any questions. The government is taking care of bringing the storage equipment to place the bodies that are in the advanced decomposition stage. Families have been asked to stay in place to help identify the bodies, along with additional DNA testing to confirm the proper identification. There is much frustration and fear that the government is not providing any information to the family members who want the closure. Many questions are left unanswered, but the investigation is still in the process. This ship disaster in China has been an overwhelming turn of events and emotions as more than 400 bodies are found dead.
As a result of the ship disaster in China, the state television channel has shut down all programs or advertising for the next three days having to do with celebrations out of respect for those who died. China and its people have suffered enough and with so little information being offered and with so many families still waiting and hoping to hear on their loved ones, the country is in a state of panic and frustration. In these times, it is difficult to maintain perspective and be positive with the majority of the passengers being gone, including a three-year-old girl who was traveling with her retired grandparents.
Due to this ship catastrophe, China is in a state of mourning for those lost and in a state of hope for those who have not yet been recovered. China will need some recovery time to get over this unfortunate tragedy, the people are strong and the country is strong as well, they will get past this and remember those who have suffered during this horrendous event.
By Elina Brik
Reuters – China ship disaster death toll jumps, company says sorry
The New York Times – 300 More Bodies Found in China Ship Disaster
Voice of America – China Ship Death Toll Surpasses 400
Photo Courtesy of Richard Fisher’s Flickr Page – All Creative Commons License