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Overloading likely cause of ferry accident; 21 killed
Updated: 2004-09-28 15:15

Overloading was likely the cause of a ferry accident in southwestern China that killed 21 people and left 47 missing, the government said Tuesday.

Rescue workers saved some 67 people after the boat capsized at 7:30 am Monday in Peng'an County, near the city of Nanchong in Sichuan province, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Local residents gather along the river where the "Chuanpengke 29" capsized Monday in Southwest China's Sichuan Province. Twenty people were killed in the accident and six are still missing. [newsphoto]

All 132 passengers and three crew members were thrown into the water in the accident.

When approaching its destination, the ship was suddenly overturned by rapid torrents caused by the construction of a local hydropower station and all people on board fell into the water.

The maximum number the boat was allowed to carry was 80, Xinhua report said.

The ferry's owner and captain have been detained.


Mr Zhou's three-month-old son survived the boating accident in which his mother was killed. [newsphoto]

This is the second major boat sinking in the past few days.

Last Thursday, an unlicensed ferry carrying 69 passengers capsized on the Yellow River in Linyi County of North China's Shanxi Province, killing 14 and leaving 34 missing.

As millions of people prepare to travel during the "October 1 Golden Week", China's week-long National Day Holiday, the issue of security is arousing concern.

The State Council Work Safety Commission emphasized in the National Work Safety Meeting held last week in Beijing that governments should make every effort to avoid any major work accidents and ensure a safe "golden week."

In the first eight months of this year, 309 people were killed or are still missing in water traffic accidents , according to Wang Xianzheng, Director of the State Administration of Work Safety.

This three-year-old girl survived the accident but her mother died. [newsphoto]

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