60-mem­ber team to look into dis­as­ter

State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­Work Safety chief leads in­ves­ti­ga­tion into cap­siz­ing

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHI­NADAILY

The State Coun­cil, China’s Cabi­net, has as­sem­bled a 60-mem­ber team to in­ves­ti­gate last week’s cruise ship cap­siz­ing to find the cause of the coun­try’s worst mar­itime dis­as­ter in seven decades.

More than 200 doc­u­ments with more than 500,000 char­ac­ters have been cre­ated based on in­ter­views with sur­viv­ing crew mem­bers, wit­nesses, those who de­signed and mod­i­fied the ship, travel agen­cies and lo­cal trans­porta­tion and mar­itime au­thor­i­ties.

The team, led by the head of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Work Safety, in­cludes se­nior of­fi­cials from the min­istries of trans­port, in­dus­try and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, public se­cu­rity, civil af­fairs and wa­ter re­sources. It also in­cludes se­nior of­fi­cials from the China Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Hubei prov­ince and Chongqing, and ex­perts on lawand me­te­o­rol­ogy.

The work safety ad­min­is­tra­tion said the probe is con­tin­u­ing with in­ter­views, anal­y­sis of ship and weather con­di­tions, and col­lec­tion ev­i­dence. The state­ment said that video footage and other ev­i­dence has been col­lected from the ship, and that weather radar and other data are be­ing an­a­lyzed.

“The rea­son

be­hind

the sink­ing is very com­pli­cated and has to be determined af­ter sci­en­tific iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and nec­es­sary sim­u­lat­ing ex­per­i­ments,” the ad­min­is­tra­tion said in a state­ment.

Xin­hua News Agency said that 323 items that be­longed to pas­sen­gers — in­clud­ing jew­elry, purses, toys and suit­cases — can be claimed at the fu­neral home in Jianli, Hubei prov­ince. Staff mem­bers have la­beled all the items based on in­for­ma­tion from tick­ets and iden­tity cards.

The China In­sur­ance Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion has also started claim set­tle­ment work.

Ato­tal of 340 in­sur­ance poli­cies are ex­pected to pay out a to­tal of 92.52 mil­lion yuan ($14.9 mil­lion). The cap­sized ship’s com­pany is ex­pected to col­lect 15.7 mil­lion yuan, of which 10 mil­lion has al­ready been paid.

Travel agen­cies will claim 12 mil­lion yuan, while the poli­cies of 396 pas­sen­gers will pay out 61.69 mil­lion yuan.

The re­main­der will crew mem­bers or their go to fam­i­lies.

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