Final death toll from sunken China cruise ship 442: Xinhua

  • AFP, Beijing
  • Updated: Jun 13, 2015 21:19 IST

The final death toll from a cruise ship which sank on China's Yangtze river was confirmed as 442 on Saturday, state media reported, as the final bodies were found from Communist China's worst shipping disaster.

Only 12 people survived when the "Eastern Star" cruise ship capsized on June 1, Tang Guanjun, the director of the river's navigation authority, was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Chinese state media had previously said that 456 people, mainly elderly tourists, were on the ship when it went down in a storm in what witnesses said was a matter of seconds.

Xinhua gave no explanation for the discrepancy in the death toll and number of survivors, which had previously been given as 14.

The final toll comes after search and rescue personnel last week held a solemn ceremony for the dead after distraught relatives from across China gathered near the disaster site in Jianli in China's central Hubei province.

The sinking was China's worst shipping disaster since the Communist Party came to power in 1949. In 1948 up to 4,000 on board the SS Kiangya were killed when it sank near Shanghai.

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