Rescuers listen for sounds of life inside the capsized ship. (Photo: CCTV/Twitter)
The Ministry of Transport has urged "all-out efforts" to rescue passengers from a ship that sank with 458 people onboard in the Yangtze River in central Hubei Province on Monday night.[Special coverage]
Rescue resources should be pooled and coordinated efficiently, making best use of professional rescue teams, said Yang Chuantang, minister of transport.
He Jianzhong, vice minister of transport, said the public transport network needed better forecasting of extreme weather. It is thought that the ship, named Dongfangzhixing, or Eastern Star, was caught in a cyclone.
Soon after the disaster, the ministry set up an emergency rescue task force with Yang as the director and He as deputy director. The task force has left for the accident site.
Dongfangzhixing sank at around 9:28 p.m. in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River, according to the Yangtze River navigation administration.
Carrying 406 passengers, five travel agency workers and 47 crew members, the ship was heading from Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, to southwest China's Chongqing city.