Officials sacked over ferryboat sinking that kills 11

Updated: 2011-09-10 20:54


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SHAOYANG, Hunan - Three government officials have been removed from their posts over a ferryboat sinking that had left 11 dead and one missing in central China's Hunan Province, local authorities said Saturday.

In the meantime, the Shaoyang County government confirmed that 50 people were aboard the overloaded vessel when it capsized and sank in the Fuyi River near the town of Tangtianshi on Friday afternoon.

Wu Shancheng, deputy head of Shaoyang County, and Tang Xianglong, head of the Tangtianshi township, were sacked Saturday afternoon, the Shaoyang County government announced in a statement.

A maritime official in the Shaoyang City, He Jianhua, was also sacked, while owners of the ferryboat and dredgers were detained for inquiry, according to the statement.

Eleven people, including nine female students from local primary and middle schools and two adults, were killed in the accident, which also left 20 injured.

Rescuers are still searching for one more missing, according to the government statement.

The Shaoyang County government had previously announced that 45 people were aboard the ferryboat, which was chartered by the schools to send the students back to their homes across the river,

The ferryboat was thought to have run into some riverside iron cables used for sand mining dredgers.

Sources with the Department of Transportation of Hunan Province confirmed that the ferryboat has a designed capacity of 14 people at most.

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