Boat capsize on east China river kills 22, including 8 foreigners

BEIJING, CHINA (BNO NEWS) -- Rescue workers have recovered the bodies of 22 people who went missing when a tug boat sank on a river in eastern China, state-run media reported on Saturday. Among the dead are eight foreigners from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Japan.

The accident happened at about 3 p.m. local time on Thursday when the tug boat was carrying out tests in Fubei Channel, near Jingjiang City in China's eastern province of Jiangsu, on the Yangtze River. The boat was carrying 25 people, including four Singaporeans, an Indonesian, a Malaysian, an Indian and a Japanese national.

Three Chinese crew members were rescued in the day after the accident, but the remaining 22 crew members went missing, prompting a search and rescue operation involving about 30 professional boats.

"We had just finished the load test of the boat's main engine when the vessel suddenly turned on its side. Water immediately flooded in," one of the survivors, Wang Zhenkai, told the state-run Xinhua news agency. He said he survived by clinging to a hydraulic pump and remained trapped for more than 12 hours until rescuers cut through the bottom of the boat just after 5:30 a.m. on Friday.

Twenty-one bodies were located in nearby waters on Saturday morning, Xinhua said, citing the Jiangsu Maritime Safety Administration. The body of the last missing person was found in the boat's cockpit at around 2 p.m. local time when the 30-meter (98-feet)-long boat was raised from the bottom of the river.

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