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Cargo vessel sinks in SW China river
Updated: 2006-02-08 17:19

A cargo vessel loaded with batteries sank after running aground in the shallow waters of the Xijiang River in Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Wednesday.

No casualties occurred despite a heavy loss of goods, reported rescuers.

The vessel, carrying 14,560 boxes of batteries, was en route from Wuzhou City, Guangxi, to Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province via the waterway, the largest tributary to the Pearl River.

Rescuers deployed by the Maritime Rescue Center based in Wuzhou salvaged about a tenth of the goods from the sinking vessel, which belonged to the Wuzhou Water Transportation Company. The accident cost the company 2 million yuan (US$250,000).

Due to a lingering drought, the water level of the Xijiang River dropped to 1.96 meters on Wednesday, only 18 centimetres higher than its lowest ever mark. This has caused a bottleneck of water traffic from the landlocked Southwest China region to the coastal province of Guangdong.

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