The United States on Tuesday sent "deepest" condolences to China and the families of the victims after a cruise ship with more than 450 people aboard sank on the Yangtze River late Monday night.[Special coverage]
As of Tuesday night, seven people were confirmed dead and about 430 more missing in what could be the worst shipping disaster in China for nearly seven decades, while only 14 people had been rescued.
"This is a terrible tragedy and we send our deepest condolences to China and to the families of the victims," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told a regular briefing.
Responding to a media question, Harf confirmed that no U.S. citizens were onboard the ship.
There were over 450 people aboard the Eastern Star when it sank "within one or two minutes" after reportedly being hit by a tornado in the Yangtze River section inside Jianli, Hubei Province, according to the ship's captain and chief engineer, who both survived.
Rescuers said there could be more survivors in the capsized ship wreckage, but strong winds and heavy rain were hampering rescue efforts.