Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Mon June 08 2015

Crews Recover More Than 430 Bodies from Capsized Eastern Star

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | June 08, 2015

Crews Recover More Than 430 Bodies from Capsized Eastern Star

Photo via Twitter

Rescue workers have recovered more than 430 bodies one week after the Eastern Star cruise ship suddenly capsized in China's Yangtze River with more than 450 people on board.

According to CNN, search crews in the country's Hubei province had retrieved 434 bodies as of Monday, bringing the missing passengers count down to eight.

China's CCTV News reports that the vessel has been cleared: 

Only 14 people survived the disaster, including the ship's captain and chief engineer. Both were taken into police custody last week and reported being hit a tornado. 

The popular pleasure cruise along the Yangtze River was headed to Chongqing from Nanjing when it was reportedly struck by a cyclone with winds as fast as 80 mph around 9:30 p.m. local time on June 1. In the wake of the disaster, a Chinese maritime safety report has surfaced revealing that the ship was cited for safety violations during a 2013 inspection. However details of the violations remain unclear. 

The Eastern Star's passengers comprised mostly retirees between the ages of 50 and 80.

Of the 434 bodies recovered, only 97 have been successfully identified by forensic teams. 

With several people still missing, authorities have expanded the search area to include 600 miles down the Yangtze River. Chinese divers were able to speed up their recovery efforts after righting the ship with a crane on Friday, pulling hundreds of bodies from the ship over the past few days.

While search efforts and the investigation into what happened will continue, the Eastern Star's capsizing is already China's worst maritime disaster since 1948. 

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