The Titanic could have been the most unforgettable and saddest story that sailed. April 1912, thousands of people bid goodbye forever. No one ever thought that it was its first and last sail. Sixty-six years ago, a steamboat of Chinese refugees fleeing the mainland for Taiwan sank, killing over 1500 people. Now, another ship made its history. Hundreds of lives have been declared missing and some were found dead.
The Eastern Star cruise ship was carrying 458 passengers and staff. It was supposed to be a travel for a luxurious experience, but it became their final destination. A travel sometimes isn’t all sunshine and rainbow. The Yangtze River got no exemption. River cruises along the Yangtze are famous for tourist.
There were 103 bodies found dead and 14 survived, but the search is not yet over. A lot of the passengers’ loved ones questioned if the storm continued its cruise after the storm started. There were a lot of questions unanswered.
The ship was bound for the western city of Chongqing from Nanjing, sank after being hit by a cyclone, on Monday night. It happened so fast that the captain didn’t have time to send out a distress signal. Both the captain and the chief engineer said that the ship had been hit by a cyclone. China Daily reported that the China’s weather bureau said a tornado less than 1 kilometer in diameter and lasting 15 to 20 minutes occurred.
Local authorities launched a rescue after receiving a phone call from a survivor who achieved on shore. State broadcaster CCTV flashed rescuers lying on the upturned ship trying to communicate with possible survivors inside. On Tuesday afternoon, a 65 year old woman was saved alive from the upturned hull of the ship.
According to Yahoo news, police safeguarded a room where survivors being taken care of and stopped any media people who wants to enter in the hospital of Jianli.
The ship’s captain and the chief engineer, who were one of the survivor, had been held by the police for questioning. On their initial investigations, they found that the ship was not overloaded and had enough life vest for passengers on board.
There were dozens of vessels helping the search in rescue as well as the fishing boats who were among them. There are more than 1,000 police with 40 expandable boats that have been sent.
The China’s transport ministry spokesman’s said “Overall judgement is that there is no chance of people being alive”. The families of the passengers have been hoping and praying that they will still see their loved-ones alive.
Undertakes have prepared coffins in a funeral parlour in Central China. Most of the passengers were over 80 and the youngest is at three (3) years old, published by China’s People’s Daily.
The Eastern Star is owned by the Chongqing Eastern Shipping Corporation, which the route is along the Three Gorges section of the Yangtze. Vice General Manager, Wang Jianhua said that the company had never experienced this kind of case of this magnitude. The company has been in service since 1981, according to the Reuters.