Rescuers work near the ship sinking site in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei province June 2, 2015. A passenger ship carrying 458 people sunk Monday night in the Yangtze River, China's longest. (Photo: China News Service/ Ai Qiping)
Twelve of the 458 people onboard the passenger ship that sank in the Yangtze River on Monday night have been rescued as of 11 am on Tuesday morning, according to the Ministry of Transport.[Special coverage]
Rescuers found 17 people from the capsized ship, five of whom dead, said the ministry.
An investigation has found that the ship was not overloaded and was equipped with sufficient life jackets. All those rescued were wearing life jackets, said the ministry.
Bad weather is hampering the rescue and the top priority is to turn the capsized vessel upright, it said.
The ship, named Dongfangzhixing, or Eastern Star, sank at around 9:28 pm 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.
The incident occurred at around 9:28 pm Monday in the Jianli (Hubei Province) section of the Yangtze, China's longest river, according to the Yangtze River navigation administration.
The ship was momentarily overturned "by strong winds on a scale of 12 (up 130 km per hour) when cruising at the Jianli section," local newspaper Hubei Daily quoted the meteorological organ as saying. The claim cannot be independently verified by Xinhua.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered a work team of the State Council to rush to the site to guide search and rescue work, and ordered Hubei, Chongqing and relevant parties to carry out all-out search and rescue efforts and properly handle the aftermath.
He also ordered beefing up public safety measures and ensuring the safety of people's lives.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has instructed a work team of the State Council to rush to the site to guide search and rescue work and ordered the Ministry of Transport and other relevant parties to mobilize all resources available to speed up the search and rescue work and the treatment of the rescued victims.
On behalf of Xi, Li Keqiang has left for the site of the accident to guide rescue and emergency handling affairs.