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12 missing after ship capsizes off NE China coast
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Twelve people were missing after a boat carrying sand sank Thursday night off the coast of Suizhong County in northeast China's Liaoning Province, the county public security bureau said Friday.

Eight vessels sent by the local maritime rescue department were still searching for the missing about 3 nautical miles south of Erhekou Port in Suizhong.

Local fish farmers told rescuers and Xinhua that the boat was a sand carrier, coded Haida No. 8, which had a registration mark suggesting it was from central China's Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province.

The farmers said they saw the boat Thursday, when there were 11 men and one woman aboard.

"There were high waves last night. The boat was carrying 5,000 tonnes of sand. It might have struggled to reach anchor, before it capsized at about 9 p.m. Thursday," said a farmer who asked not to be identified.

Suizhou is about 400 km from the provincial capital of Shenyang.

(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2009)

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