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10 Chinese sailors missing, 14 rescued after cargo ship sinks

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The search is on for 10 Chinese sailors missing after their ship sank 444 km offshore
  • 14 of their colleagues were rescued by crews of a Chinese ship and Taiwanese jet
  • The nickel-carrying ship was flying under a Panamanian flag when it went down

(CNN) -- Fourteen sailors were rescued after their cargo ship sank off the southeast coast of China, but 10 others remain missing, state-run media reported Saturday.

The ship, the MV Hong Wei, went down at 1:43 p.m. Saturday near the Basil Channel, some 240 nautical miles (444 km) south of the city of Shantou in Guangdong province, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The vessel had 40,000 tons of nickel ore when it sank. It was flying under a Panamanian flag, but all the missing sailors are Chinese.

As of 4 p.m., the 14 sailors had been picked up and brought aboard a Chinese ship and a Taiwanese jet, Xinhua reported.

The search for their missing colleagues, led by crew on a "giant Chinese rescue ship," continued despite stiff winds.

Authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the sinking.