37 people died on board of sunken Panamanian freighter

No survivors have been found from a Panamanian freighter that sank in rough seas off eastern China with 37 people on board, a rescue official said Friday. Helicopters and ships were searching near the position about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Pingtan island in Fujian province where the freighter went down after smashing against the rocky coast late Thursday night, an official with the provincial maritime rescue center said.

"They're looking and looking but haven't found anything," said the man, who would not give his name as is standard among Chinese government employees.

The official said the ship was carrying a cargo of seafood to Indonesia but said he didn't know the ship's name or the nationality of its crew. A report that a Chinese fishing boat with 27 people on board sank in the same area early Friday was incorrect, Jing Yan, a Fujian-based reporter with the official Xinhua News Agency said. Jing said no such boat had sunk and no Chinese fishermen were reported missing.

Harsh weather continued in the area Friday. A northeast monsoon would bring a cold front and heavy winds and rain to the northern part of the South China Sea , according to the Hong Kong Observatory. Typhoons and other rough weather conditions frequently lash Pingtan, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) south of Shanghai , reports the AP.


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