China ship disaster: Despair turns to anger on Yangtze River
BEIJING — Despair turned to anger Wednesday as hopes faded for more than 400 people trapped for more than 36 hours in the capsized Eastern Star cruise ship on China’s Yangtze River.
The official death toll rose to 19, state television channel CCTV reported, in what could become the country’s deadliest maritime accident in decades.
Fourteen people have been rescued — including the ship’s captain and chief engineer — but the majority of the 456 on board remained unaccounted for. Many of the passengers were elderly tourists.
Frustrated by what they perceive as a lack of information, some of the passengers’ relatives scuffled with officials in Shanghai — where the trips were booked through a local tour operator.
About two dozen family members, some crying and others shouting “help us,” marched in central Shanghai towards the main government office watched by a heavy police presence.
“We want the government to give us a name list so that we know whether they are alive or not, we all want to know,” said a distraught Cai Bin, the son and nephew of two of the ship’s passengers.
The tourist ship was traveling on the Yangtze — the world’s third-longest river behind the Nile and the Amazon.
It started in the eastern city of Nanjing and was scheduled end up in the Chongqing region in central China. It sank about 110 miles west of the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan. The river is about 50 feet deep in the area.
NBC News’ Eric Baculinao and Reuters contributed to this article. Read the rest at NBCNews.com.