Cargo ship sinks off China coast; eight killed

Cargo ship sinks off China coast; eight killed

A cargo ship sank off China's southeastern coast today, drowning eight crew members and leaving the other two missing.

A spokesman of the maritime rescue centre said by noon rescuers had saved one person, recovered eight bodies, and were still searching for the remaining two missing.In all 11 persons were on board the ship at the time of the accident.

The Xinyuanshun 6 cargo ship, registered in Beihai of China's Guangxi, was carrying 5,000 tonnes of pottery clay to the coastal Shandong province when it sank off the coast of Chongwu in Fujian province at about 3 a m (local time), the spokesman said.

The vessel might have capsised after goods slid to one side of its hold, he added. Eleven boats and two helicopters were involved in the rescue, battling strong winds and rough seas, the spokesman said.

The lone crew member rescued had been hospitalised, Xinhua news agency reported. Authorities are probing the cause of the sinking and have sent an alert for an oil spill.