The Chinese river cruise vessel that capsized in the Yangtze River has been moved to safer waters 10 km upstream of the accident site.
Dong Fang Zhi Xing (which translates in English as Eastern or Oriental Star) was towed away at 10:00 local time by a floating crane and two tugs from the site of the 1 June incident which left 434 confirmed dead and eight more people missing.
The decision was made to move the vessel because the water depth at the accident site was 15 m with flood season in full swing. With water already leaking into the ship, there was a risk it would sink altogether, the Ministry of Transport said.
The accident site is also close to the main channel, so a sinking could also have disrupted navigation, the ministry added.
Related news:Yangtze ferry disaster ship to be moved upstream
Dong Fang Zhi Xing was found to be listing 80 cm to its left on the evening of 9 June. Ten tonnes of sand bags were placed on the right side of the ship to restore its balance.
The vessel had already been moved several metres upstream to allow divers to search for victims at the site.
Victims’ families were allowed to start collecting personal belongings yesterday. The investigation into the accident continues.