Premier Li Keqiang ordered Ministry of Transport and other related departments to use all resources and race against time to carry out the rescue work.
A passenger ship, named Dongfangzhixing (Eastern Star), carrying 458 people sank at around 9:28 p.m. of June 1 in the Hubei section of China’s Yangtze River, according to Hubei provincial government emergency office.
The Premier urged to minimize the number of casualties and give timely treatment to the rescued.
Premier Li is rushing to the scene on behalf of President Xi Jinping together with Vice-premier Ma Kai and State Councilor Yang Jing.
The Ministry of Transport has launched a level-one response and sent several vessels to help in the operation.
Personnel from Hunan and Hubei provinces have already arrived at the scene and the rescue work is being carried out.
More than 20 people have been rescued, according to Xinhua reports.
The ship was heading from Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu province, to southwest China’s Chongqing city.
There were 405 Chinese passengers, five travel agency workers and 47 crew members aboard, according to the Yangtze River navigation administration.