Four Singaporeans were on board a Singapore-registered boat that sank in the Yangtze River in eastern China on Thursday (Jan 15), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said, adding that it is working with the local authorities on search operations which are ongoing.
More than 20 people were missing after the trial voyage of the tugboat ended with its sinking, official news agency Xinhua reported, with 23 vessels dispatched to search for the missing passengers amid swift currents and freezing waters.
“MFA has been informed that a Singapore-registered vessel, JMS Delta, sank in the Yangtze River Jingjiang, Taizhou city, Jiangsu Province in the People’s Republic of China yesterday. We understand that four Singaporeans were onboard the ship at the time of the incident," a ministry spokesman told Channel NewsAsia.
"MFA is in touch with the families of the Singaporeans and the companies they are working for. Our Consulate-General officers in Shanghai are at the incident site providing consular assistance to the next-of-kin. We are also working closely with the Chinese authorities on the ongoing search and rescue operations.”
A relative of one of the Singaporeans on the boat told Channel NewsAsia that her family was contacted and told of the news by the relative's manager early on Friday. "We are making plans to fly up today," she added.