Chilling photographs show inside the now-uprighted Yangtze cruise death ship
A total of 431 people died in the disaster, 11 remain missing and 17 survived
These are the chilling photographs of inside the tragic Eastern Star cruise boat that capsized on the Yangtze River last week, killing more than 430 people.
The cruise boat was host to almost 500 guests, mostly elderly tourists, as it travelled from Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing. The ship overturned in China’s Hubei Province.
Fourteen people survived by swimming or drifting, three were pulled out be divers from the overturned hull the day after disaster, when rescuers heard yells from within and 11 people remain missing.
The remaining 431 people perished on the tragic cruise ship.
Released images of the now-uprighted cruise ship show photographs on the walls of crew members' rooms and handprints of the rescue workers on the ship as they attempted to save the hundreds of people onboard.
Yesterday, many relatives wept openly as they arrived at a morgue for a last look at bodies of loved ones.
One man carried a framed picture inside a white plastic bag of his relative, as smoke rose from the morgue's nearby crematorium in the Hubei Province riverside community of Jianli.
Authorities identified bodies from DNA samples donated by relatives, who had the option of a last look at bodies before cremation.
Under Chinese tradition, families will have the bodies cremated at a local morgue and then bring the ashes to their home communities for burial.
Authorities said they would search down river more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) as far as Shanghai for the remaining eleven people missing.
Chinese authorities have attributed the accident to sudden, turbulent winds. They also have placed the surviving captain and chief engineer in police custody, though they have released no details of any pending investigation into their conduct.
Some passengers' relatives say they believe authorities have not focused enough on the possibility of human error, including misjudgment about carrying on with the cruise during the storm rather than anchoring.
The overturning of the multi-decked, 77-metre (251-foot) Eastern Star is China's worst boat disaster since the sinking of the SS Kiangya off Shanghai in 1948 during a civil war, which is believed to have killed anywhere from 2,750 to nearly 4,000 people.