Premier Li Keqiang is rushing to Jianli county, Hubei province, to lead the rescue and emergency response work. [Special coverage]
A passenger ship, named Dongfangzhixing (Eastern Star), carrying 458 people sank at around 9:28 p.m. of June 1 in the Hubei section of China's Yangtze River, according to Hubei provincial government emergency office.
Vice-premier Ma Kai and State Councilor Yang Jing have headed to the scene with the Premier.
More than 20 people have been rescued, according to Xinhua reports.
The ship was heading from Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu province, to southwest China's Chongqing city.
There were 405 Chinese passengers, five travel agency workers and 47 crew members aboard, according to the Yangtze River navigation administration.