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Search and rescue work is priority, vice-premier says

Updated: Jun 4,2015 9:51 AM

Vice-Premier Ma Kai (C) presides over a meeting on search and rescue work of the cruise ship Eastern Star that capsized late on June 1 in the Jianli section of the Yangtze River in central China’s Hubei province, June 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Vice-Premier Ma Kai said on June 3 that everything must be done to aid search and rescue operations on the Yangtze River after the Dongfangzhixing (Eastern Star) passenger ship capsized on June 1.

He made the remarks when chairing a State Council meeting in Jianli county, Hubei province.

The ship, carrying 458 people, capsized and sank at around 9:30 pm after it was hit by severe weather on June 1 in the Hubei section of the Yangtze River.

Ma said all military and civilian parties responded quickly and carried out their emergency tasks efficiently.

Authorities will continue to organize divers to search the upturned vessel deck by deck, he said, and ensure that every section of it is searched.

He instructed that absolute priority be given to divers and necessary rescue equipment and that medical teams are deployed to treat the injured.

Every assistance must be given to the families of the passengers, he said, in this difficult time for them.

The Vice-premier emphasized that a report should be issued as soon as investigations into the accident are completed and he told authorities to release relevant information concerning the accident to the public.