Andy Wong

"No possibility" of survivors as 442 feared dead on board sunken ship

Just 14 people were rescued when the Eastern Star went down on Monday.

AUTHORITIES ADMIT THERE is no hope for more survivors from a capsized Chinese cruise ship, as cranes slowly raised the sunken vessel.

Exhausted relatives are preparing themselves for further agony.

Just 14 of the 456 people on board the Eastern Star were rescued after it sank on the Yangtze River late on Monday, and “comprehensive research and analysis of the facts” showed the chances of finding anyone still alive were “increasingly slim”, a transport ministry spokesman said.

“Based on the general judgement that there is no possibility of survival” authorities decided to right the ship, Xu Chengguang told a press conference late last night.

So far, 97 people are confirmed dead, Xu said, but hundreds were still missing, many believed trapped in the ship’s hull.

China Boat Sinks Locals look at the rescue operation. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The current tally of survivors means that the final toll of dead and missing is likely to reach 442, making the tragedy China’s worst shipping disaster in nearly 70 years, state media have reported.

Rescuers operating massive cranes battled from Thursday night to right the Eastern Star at the site of the disaster in Hubei province’s Jianli county.

- © AFP, 2015

Read: At least five dead after cruise ship with 458 on board capsizes

Read: Families hope for a miracle to save passengers trapped in overturned cruise ship

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