Hong Kong, Chinese cargo sank, 11 crew still missing

HONG KONG, May 06, 2014 (AFP) – An air and sea rescue mission scoured choppy waters near Hong Kong Tuesday in a desperate search for 11 crew still missing more than 24 hours after their Chinese cargo ship sank.

The Zhong Xing 2, which was laden with cement, went down after colliding with a container ship in the early hours of Monday just south of the island of Po Toi, on the edge of Hong Kong’s maritime territory.

A 46-year-old mainland Chinese crewman is so far the sole survivor of the ship’s crew of 12 – he was plucked from the sea by a passing fishing boat.

Chinese authorities are coordinating the rescue operation, sending 15 ships and three helicopters to hunt for the missing crew, according to China’s official state news agency Xinhua.

Hong Kong also deployed a helicopter and eight rescue boats, but rescue efforts have so far been in vain.

“We are still trying to find the wreckage and the missing 11 persons,” a Hong Kong government spokesman told AFP.

The cause of the accident is not yet known and is under investigation, he said.

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