China mourns Yangtze shipwreck victims as search continues

Updated: 2015-06-07 19:19


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China mourns Yangtze shipwreck victims as search continues

Officials and rescuers bow in mourning towards the battered boat, June 7, 2015. [Photo/CFP]

Yin had four relatives perish in the disaster. He knelt to the ship, asking, "Mom, how could you leave me alone? I have so many important moments in my life to share with you."

Wu Jianqiang, 58, one of the survivors, lost his wife. "I know you will not come back, but I really hope I could see you one last time," he cried when the ship horns sounded.

Jianli, once virtually unknown, has attracted worldwide attention. In the early morning, more than 1,500 cars with yellow ribbons began to collect families of the victims and rescue workers from hotels or the rescue site. The kindness and support of local people gave some warmth to those in need and in grief.

Qu Zhigang, an organizer of volunteers in Jianli, said, "We hope the dead can rest in peace."

Eleven people remain missing. Hu Kaihong, deputy director of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office, told a news conference Sunday that the search is continuing and authorities are matching the DNA of the victims with blood samples provided by their relatives.

Rescuers are still searching along the Yangtze River from Jianli where the ship sank, more than 1,000 km downstream to Shanghai.

Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai extended his condolences Saturday to relatives of the victims, asking that whatever help relatives might need, including psychological counselling and a thorough investigation, be provided as soon as possible.

People are grieving and mourning the victims online too.

"Hopefully there is no storm and horror in heaven. Hopefully those who are alive will understand better the meaning of life," read one comment online.