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China Reveals Progress of Yangtze Shipwreck Probe
   2015-06-11 06:50:49    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Luo Dan

This photo shows some of the belongings of the victims of the Eastern Star shipwreck. A total of 323 items have been retrieved and identified. 434 people have been confirmed dead while 8 others remain missing after the ship capsized on the Yangtze River on June 1, 2015. [Photo: China Central Television]


Chinese investigators say they have gathered much evidence regarding the capsizing of the Eastern Star cruise ship on the Yangtze River that killed at least 434 people.

In its first detailed report on the investigation since the disaster, the Chinese government is stressing it's a complex probe that demands scrupulous methods and simulations.

Premier Li Keqiang ordered the setup of a 60-strong investigation team on June 2, a day after the capsizing of the Eastern Star.

The team has been probing meteorological conditions at the time of the disaster, the structure and retrofitting of the ship, its fitness to sail, sailors' responsibilities, and shipping-safety supervision on the Yangtze River.

They are working on video footage and GPS data from devices recovered from the ship, as well as data from satellites, radar and ground-level monitors.

As the investigation continues, relatives of the victims of the shipwreck are now being allowed to retrieve their loved-one's belongings.

They have been given access to the items at a funeral home in Jianli County, which is near the site of last week's disaster.

Xia Yanhai with Jianli's Civil Affairs Bureau says the process of cremating the victims is also underway.

"The mortuary has received the bodies of 219 victims, of which 76 have been identified by their families. The families of 51 victims have agreed to have the victims' bodies cremated. 26 bodies have been cremated."

The ship has been moved around 10 kilometers upstream from where it capsized. There had been concern it might break apart if it was left in the water at the accident site.

Eight people remain missing. There were only 14 survivors.

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