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Wednesday, December 01, 1999, updated at 16:25(GMT+8)
China Shipwreck Victims Appropriately Compensated

While rescuers and divers are desperately searching for those missing from the Dashun shipwreck on November 24, measures have been taken to handle various other problems arising from the tragic accident near the coastal city of Yantai.

So far, hundreds of relatives of victims have arrived in Yantai, in east China's Shandong province, and families of more than 40 people killed in the accident have signed compensation agreements.

Sources with the investigation team sent by China's State Council said survivors and victims' families of the shipwreck will be compensated appropriately according to law.

A special compensation plan has been formed offering favorable settlements for those people, the sources said.

The ship Dashun, owned by the Yantai Yanda Automobile Ferry Company, was carrying 262 passengers and 40 crew members on November 24 when it caught fire and was forced to reverse its course toward the port of Dalian in Liaoning Province, northeast China. The ship sank at about midnight the same day.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council and the Central Military Commission have attached maximum importance to the rescue work. President Jiang Zemin and other Chinese leaders have issued instructions for the recovery effort.

As soldiers and civilians rushed to join rescue operations on the scene, 15 local hospitals prepared to treat survivors.

More than 2,000 local people have been mobilized to help accommodate victims' relatives arriving in the city.

Officials from Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang and Jiangsu provinces have also traveled to Yantai to handle possible problems concerning victims from their provinces.

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