Twelve bodies have been found so far from a ship that broke into two pieces during Typhoon Chaba in the South China Sea over the weekend, according to a report by Agence France Presse (AFP) on NDTV.

According to Chinese authorities, rescuers are continuing to search for missing crew members, reported The Guardian.

The ship had 30 crew members on board when it was struck by the typhoon.

It was struck in an area where wind speeds were 144km per hour and waves were 10m high.

The Flying Service has sent out two sorties of fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopter sorties.

Mainland authorities also dispatched a rescue boat.

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According to the Flying Service, the engineering vessel, which was found 296km south-west of Hong Kong, suffered huge damage.  

In a statement, Guangdong Maritime Search and Rescue Centre was quoted by AFP as saying. “As of 3:30 pm on July 4, rescue forces found and recovered 12 bodies, suspected to be of victims who drowned, in an area around 50 nautical miles south-west of the site where the vessel sank.”

If conditions at the location allow, rescue operations will continue into the night.

The Flying Service did not disclose the name or origin of the ship.

Chinese state media reported that three people were rescued on Saturday and one more in the early hours of Monday.

Typhoon Chaba formed in the central part of the South China Sea and reached land later on Saturday in the western part of China’s Guangdong province.