China / Society

France sends condolences to China over ship sinking

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-03 01:40

France on Tuesday sent its condolences to China over the sinking of a cruise boat on the Yangtze River on Monday which so far has left seven dead and over 400 people unaccounted for, a government official said.

"We were extremely shocked to learn of the sinking. France extends its condolences to the victims' families. Our thoughts are also with the families of the hundreds of people who are missing," Romain Nadal, France's foreign ministry spokesperson, said at a daily e-press briefing.

"In these tragic circumstances, France assures the Chinese authorities and people of its solidarity," he added.

There were over 450 people onboard the Eastern Star when it sank "within one or two minutes" after being hit by a tornado in Jianli, Hubei province, according to the ship's captain and chief engineer, who both survived.

As of Tuesday night, 14 people had been rescued, with seven others confirmed dead and about 430 missing.

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