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Indian among 22 killed in China boat capsize

China boat

Beijing: Twenty two people, including an Indian, who went missing after a tugboat capsized on Yangtze River in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province were declared dead today after the sunken vessel was lifted out of the waters.

The Indian man was listed among the missing along with eight other foreigners — four Singaporeans, an Indonesian, a Malaysian and Japanese — after the tugboat carrying 25 people capsized yesterday on a stretch of the river between Jingjiang and Zhangjiagang, which is close to the Yangtze’s mouth near Shanghai.

All the eight foreigners on board the ill-fated vessel were killed, Jiangsu Maritime Safety Administration (JMSA) was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

Seventeen Chinese people were also on board the ill-fated ship.

Twenty two, including eight foreigners, were declared dead while rescuers had earlier saved three people, all Chinese, including an interpreter.

Rescuers found the body of the last missing person in the tugboat’s cockpit.

The boat, coded “Wanshenzhou 67″, was lifted out of the waters this morning, 40 hours after it sank in Fubei Channel.

The Indian, a resident of Singapore, was identified as Harikrishnan Mani by state-run People’s Daily which published the names of all eight foreigners who were killed in the accident.

Officials of the Indian Consulate in Shanghai said efforts were on to bring his family members to China.

Initial investigations found that the tugboat capsized due to “improper operations”.

According to the JMSA, the tugboat operators did not complete the compulsory procedures needed for trial operations, nor did they report the boat’s conditions to authorities.

The boat sank in the midst of a full circle swing due to improper handling, the JMSA said.

The 30-meter-long boat, with a weight of 368 tonnes, was built by Anhui Bengbu Shenzhou Machinery Co. Ltd.

Pictures on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, showed family members of those killed crying desperately near the river. Many had braved the cold weather early morning awaiting news about their loved ones.

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