CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Capsized Eastern Star Update: Families of Missing Passengers Getting Frustrated Over Lack Official News

Eastern Star

(Photo : Reuters) Family members of the missing passengers are getting frustrated over the fact that local government authorities have failed to provide more information about the incident and their rescue efforts.

Families and friends of the missing Eastern Star passengers are getting frustrated over the unwillingness of local authorities to release more details about the tragedy.

A previous BBC report said that the passenger ship was negotiating its way along the Yangtze River when sudden very strong winds immediately overturned it.

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Despite the presence of police in the area, angry family members reportedly began entering the restricted areas around the capsized boat in their quest to know more about the plight of their missing relatives, according to another BBC report.  Wang Feng, a spokesperson for the group, explained that the intrusion was made "for the government to see."

Local authorities later assured the families that they will be allowed to come near the overturned ship by Thursday, June 4.

The death toll is now at 65 according to latest government press report, but only 14 people have been rescued. Two days have passed since a live passenger was rescued, and so far, only bodies are being brought up from the ship.    

Top Chinese officials like President Xi Jinping have made themselves visible to the media in assuring the public that the government is doing all it can to rescue` the trapped passengers.

Families of the missing passengers, however, are getting angry over the lack of relevant details from the local government bureaucrats.

A lot of the missing passengers are reportedly residents of Nanjing.  Most of their relatives are staying in nearby hotels are unsatisfied with the fact that the authorities are providing very little details about the incident. 

Reuters reported that some of these families have revealed that they would like to know the names of the rescued people as well as the deceased passengers. 

There were about 405 passengers abroad the Eastern Star when it overturned.  While most of them were elderly people and on a vacation cruise, the passenger log indicates that at least one three-year-old child is on board.  The vessel is operated by a crew of 46.  Among those rescued earlier are the ship's captain and the chief engineer.  Both are currently in detention pending official inquiries.     

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