Death Toll Nearly 400 in China Cruise Ship Disaster

Nearly 400 people are reported dead in the capsizing of the Eastern Star, Chinese state media said, making it China's deadliest boat disaster in nearly 70 years, The Associated Press reported. Search teams scouring the muddy waters of the Yangtze River found more hundreds more bodies overnight and Saturday, bringing the death toll to 396, Hu Kaihong, the vice director-general of the press bureau of the State Council Information Office, told reporters. The boat, since removed from the water, was carrying more than 450 people — many of them elderly tourists — when it capsized in a sudden storm. Only 14 have survived. Passengers' relatives have questioned whether the ship should have continued its cruise despite a weather warning earlier in the evening.

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