Three personnel have been rescued so far and search operations are currently ongoing to retrieve the remaining sailors.
Shanghai’s local water traffic management centre noted that Changping was loaded with 5,000t of steel and 13 crew members before the vessel sank in the anchorage area near the Yangtze River estuary.
A 4m² hole was seen in the ship’s hull by the rescue divers, which is suspected to have caused the vessel to sink.
Once of the divers involved in the operation, Luo Zaili, was quoted by Xinhua as saying: “But the current is too fast for us to enter.”
According to the local Maritime Safety Administration, a gush of water would have quickly flowed into the ship through the hole, thereby closing the routes that would have allowed the crew to escape.
A fleet of seven patrol vessels, three salvage ships and five boats have been sent by the city’s maritime search and rescue centre to search for the missing crew members.
The other vessel involved in the incident reportedly had 11 crew members on-board.
The freighter, Xinwang 138, sank into the river near the Wusong estuary, reported Global Times.