China tug boat capsizes in Yangtze river killing 21 people

18 January 2015 (Last Updated January 18th, 2015 18:30)

A tug boat conducting tests has capsized in the Yangtze River in eastern China, leaving 21 people dead and one person missing.

A tug boat conducting tests has capsized in the Yangtze River in eastern China, leaving 21 people dead and one person missing.

Three people have been rescued from the boat that sank in Fubei Channel near Jingjiang City, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The boat was carrying 25 people, including eight foreigners, four Singaporeans, one Indonesian, a Malaysian, an Indian and a Japanese national.

According to primary investigations, the boat capsized due to ‘improper operations’, Xinhua said.

Jiangsu Maritime Safety Administration (JMSD) said that all eight foreign workers have died in the accident. Three Chinese people were rescued.

"Operators did not complete the compulsory procedures required for the trial or report the conditions of tug to the authorities."

JMSD also said that operators did not complete the compulsory procedures required for the trial or report the conditions of tug to the authorities.

One of the survivors, Wang Chenhua, said that the boat ‘suddenly turned over’ to the left when they had conducted a load test for the boat’s main engine, BBC News reported.

Wang was assisting a 60-year-old Japanese engineer onboard, working as his translator during the trial voyage.

Named Wanshenzhou 67, the 30m-long boat has been pulled out from the water. It was built by Anhui Bengbu Shenzhou Machinery in China’s Anhui province. Meanwhile, Singapore-based shipbuilder Sembcorp Marine said that its subsidiary, Jurong Marine Services, had planned to charter the boat, Reuters reported.

Three company employees were onboard, Sembcorp Marine said.