Hundreds missing after cruise ship carrying 458 people capsizes on Yangtze


In a scene eerily reminiscent of last year’s ferry accident in South Korea, a cruise ship carrying 458 people capsized on the Yangtze River in China on Monday, and as of Tuesday morning, 15 had been rescued. A “freak tornado” struck the ship, Reuters reports, upturning the boat completely.

And as the rescue effort pushed toward the 24 hour mark, many family members of those on the ship expressed their frustration with the Chinese government’s lack of communication. From the New York Times:

“They don’t want to tell us anything, and they treat us like we’re going to do something bad,” said a woman with the surname Chen, who said three of her sisters and two brothers-in-law were believed to have been on the Oriental Star with 14 other members of a tour group. “We just want to know where they are. Our family lost five people.”

Apparently, the Xiehe Tourism Agency—where the trip was initially booked—locked the doors of their office Tuesday, posting a note on the door that said the managers had gone to the scene of the accident. Later, when a high-ranking official appeared at the offices, he walked past without a word as family members “shouted at him and followed him,” asking for more information.

According to the Times, the Chinese central government is taking even further measures to cut off the flow of information by preventing nearly all Chinese journalists from reporting on the accident. Chinese premier Li Keqiang is now at the scene, the BBC reports.

Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.

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