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Captain of ship that capsized in Yangtze river detained

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The capsized Chinese vessel's captain and chief engineer have been detained by the police for questioning on Tuesday (June 2).

The mishap happened on late Monday (June 1), after the ship encountered a storm in the Hubei section of the Yangtze River.

Giving no other details, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported the detention on its official microblog.

The ship was carrying 458 people. 

As rescue operations involving 1,000 police officers and 40 inflatable boats get underway, media reports said five bodies have been recovered so far.


Among those on board were elderly Chinese tourists, some as old as 80 years. They were on a tour organised by a Shanghai tour group.

Latest reports said six elderly passengers have been rescued.

Reuters reported there were 47 crew members and five travel agency workers too.

Quoting state broadcaster CCTV, AFP said just 13 people rescued so far.

Tweets by CCTV showed rescue workers on the hull of the capsized ship - listening for signs of possible survivors inside. 



Earlier reports said rescuers could hear sounds from the inside of the ship.

The ship, Eastern Star, was travelling from the Chinese city of Nanjing to Chongqing in southwest China.

The ship's captain and engineer - who were among those rescued - told Xinhua that the ship sank quickly after it encountered a "cyclone."

In Jan 2015, a Singapore-registered tugboat undergoing sea trials, JMS Delta, sank in the Yangtze river, killing 22 of the 25 people on board.

Four of those dead were Singaporean. 

Sources: Reuters, Twitter, AFP