Photos Of Chinese Ship Sinking In Yangtze River Show Rescue Efforts In Full Force To Find The Hundreds Missing

Rescuers are scrambling early Tuesday morning after reportedly hearing calls for help within a cruise ship that capsized on China's Yangtze River at around 9:28 p.m. local time on Monday. Around a dozen people have been rescued so far, and hundreds are still missing, according to CNN. There were 458 people on board when the ship sank while en route to the southwestern city of Chongqing. Photos of the Chinese ship sinking showed rescue workers assessing the scene to determine how to reach the passengers, most of them elderly tourists, who were still trapped within.

Reportedly among the handful of survivors are the ship's captain and chief engineer, who claimed the boat quickly sank after being caught in a cyclone, according to local news outlet Xinhua. The two were taken into custody by police, CNN reported, citing China state-run broadcaster CCTV. As of early Tuesday morning, it was unclear what exactly caused the ship, named "Eastern Star" in English, to sink.

Local media's photos of the ship showed it had flipped over in the river, with the bottom hull exposed above the water's surface. Rescue workers could be seen walking along the boat and listening for sounds from within. The images portrayed a scene eerily similar to last year's Sewol disaster, when a South Korean passenger ferry sank and killed 304 people, most of whom were high school students. Last November, the captain of the Sewol, Lee Joon-seok, was sentenced to 36 years in prison for negligence and abandoning the ship and its passengers.