Chinese ship sinks with 450 on board

chinese ship

A ship carrying more than 450 people has sunk on the Yangtze River in southern China, according to state media reports.

The Xinhua News Agency said eight people had been rescued so far and work was under way to save the remaining passengers.

The vessel had been travelling from the eastern city of Nanjing to Chongqing in the south-west when it sank.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang is travelling to the scene, state media said.

The ship, the Eastern Star, had been carrying 405 Chinese passengers, five travel agency employees and 47 crew, Xinhua said.

The captain and the chief engineer, who are among those rescued, were quoted as saying that the ship had been caught in a cyclone and sank quickly.

The ship sank in the Jianli county of Hubei Province and rescue work was being hampered by strong winds and heavy rain, the report added.

Twenty-two people died on the river in January, when a tugboat undergoing tests capsized near Zhangjiagang, in Jiangsu province.