State media said on Wednesday that Chinese investigators looking into last week's deadly capsizing of a packed cruise ship have collected a "multitude of first-hand evidence" and have interviewed many people including the captain.
Only 14 survivors, one of them the captain, were found after the ship carrying 456 overturned in a freak tornado on Monday night on the Yangtze River. Most of the passengers on the Eastern Star were elderly domestic tourists.
The official Xinhua news agency said while citing a government notice on the inquiry that the 60-strong investigation team is made up of specialists in meteorology, ship design and manufacturing, shipping safety and computing.
The news agency said, "It is subdivided into five groups probing meteorological conditions at the time of the Eastern Star's sinking, the structure and retrofitting of the ship, its fitness to sail and sailors' responsibility, and shipping safety supervision on the Yangtze River. Investigators have interviewed survivors, the captain included, shipping company managers, designers and builders of the Eastern Star, and witnesses from other ships."
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