Taiwan Searches For Chinese Sailors

Tuesday, June 26, 2001
Taiwan on Tuesday searched on for 10 Chinese crew members of a Belize-registered vessel that went missing off the island's southern coast during a killer typhoon, though hopes of finding survivors were fading, officials said. "After 72 hours, chances of finding any survivors are low," said Younger Wu of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. "The emergency task force had been called off, but we will continue the search until all bodies are accounted for," Wu, who heads the ministry's Navigation & Aviation Department, told a news conference. Typhoon Chebi lashed Taiwan and China over the weekend, killing at least 87 people and injuring 116. The death toll in Taiwan rose to 14, including nine aboard the Belize-registered vessel, which had sent a distress signal before it went missing. It was carrying 5,700 tons of iron sand and on its way to the south Taiwan city of Tainan from the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian. Four other crew members were rescued and taken to hospitals in Taiwan. In China, the storm killed 73. All but two of the mainland victims were killed in the Fujian capital of Fuzhou, where 83 people were still missing on Sunday evening after the typhoon headed back out to sea, the semi-official China News Service said. A total of 109 fishing boats and four yachts sank in worst-hit island of Penghu, also known as the Pescadores, off Taiwan's western coast. - (Reuters)

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