At least 11 people - most of them children - died, and three were missing after an overloaded ferry sank in a river in the southern Chinese province of Hunan, state media reported Saturday. Police detained the two owners of the boat following the accident late Friday. The ferry was taking 43 children and teachers from two schools across the Fuyi river near Hunan's Shaoyang city, reports said. The Legal Evening News quoted officials as saying a preliminary investigation concluded that 'serious overloading' was the main cause of the accident. Other reports said the boat capsized after it hit steel cables used by dredgers. The vessel was licensed to carry 14 passengers, but was carrying 43 passengers plus the two owners, the newspaper reported. But one report said a sign on the boat indicated that it could carry up to 32 people. Nine children and two adults died, including one child who drowned after saving two others. Six people were injured. A primary school and a middle school in Hunan's Tangtianshi township hired the boat to take the children home for this weekend's traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, the reports said. Guo Meitao, 14, told the government's Xinhua news agency that she had rescued her 63-year-old grandmother from the river. Guo said she and her grandmother scrambled to a sandbank in the middle of the river, where they waited with other survivors for about 30 minutes before they were rescued.
Date: 13 Sept 2011 Source: Monsters and Critics