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Twenty rescued after ship with 458 people sinks in China river

Twenty rescued after ship with 458 people sinks in China river

Beijing: At least 20 people have been saved as of Tuesday morning as rescuers battle strong winds and a heavy downpour while searching for the others on a passenger ship, carrying 458 people, that sank overnight in China's Yangtze River.

The ship, named Dongfangzhixing, or Eastern Star, sank at around 9.30 p.m. in the Jianli -- Hubei province -- section of the Yangtze River, Xinhua reported, citing the river navigation administration.

The captain and the chief engineer, who were rescued, claimed the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone.

There were 406 Chinese passengers, five travel agency workers and 47 crew members aboard, according to the administration.

It was headed towards south-west China's Chongqing city from Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu province.

Authorities have located the site where the ship sank and more than 30 boats have been dispatched for the rescue.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered a state council team to guide search and rescue work.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has instructed the ministry of transport to mobilise all resources available to speed up the search and rescue work, and the treatment of the rescued victims.

Li has left for the site of the accident, on behalf of Xi, to supervise rescue affairs.

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