A look at 5 deadly maritime disasters from the last 5 years

Emergency crews in China continued to pull survivors from the Yangtze River after a cruise ship capsized Tuesday with more than 450 people on board, many of them elderly citizens.

Video footage from the state broadcaster showed rescue workers climbing on the upside-down hull frantically trying to reach the hundreds believed to still be trapped inside. The capsizing of the Eastern Star is being considered one of the worst maritime disasters in China in recent decades.

READ MORE: Hundreds still missing after boat capsizes on China’s Yangtze River

The boat tragedy also follows several other major sinking disasters of cruise ships, ferries and migrant boats that have killed thousands.

Below is a list of five other recent maritime disasters from around the world in the last five years.

Hundreds of migrants die off coast of Libya

More than 700 migrants from the Middle East and Africa died when a fishing vessel capsized nearly 100 km off the coast of Libya on April 18, 2015. Considered to be one of the worst disasters involving human smuggling in the Mediterranean Sea, it sparked a wave of debate among EU lawmakers to take greater action to prevent future incidents.

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READ MORE: What’s the best way to solve the Mediterranean migrant crisis?

The captain of the ship, a Tunisian national, was arrested by Italian authorities on homicide charges after he was rescued. A Bangladeshi survivor told authorities on April 19 that hundreds had been locked in the ships hold by smugglers, including children as young as 10.

Human smuggling continues to be a devastating problem on the Mediterranean. On May 3, the Italian Coast Guard rescued more than 3,000 migrants in a single day involving 17 different rescue operations.

South Korea ferry disaster kills more than 300

On the morning of April 16, 2014 the Sewol ferry sank off Jindo, South Korea with 476 people on board, including 325 high school students on a field trip. The disaster killed more than 300 people.

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In November 2014, the captain was sentenced to 36 years in prison for abandoning the sinking ship with passengers trapped inside. The owner of the company operating the ferry was found dead in a field shortly after the disaster.

Boats sink in South Sudan and Uganda killing more than 400

In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 file photo, a boat packed with passengers arrives at a dock after crossing a waterway near the town of Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State.
In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 file photo, a boat packed with passengers arrives at a dock after crossing a waterway near the town of Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State. AP Photo/Ben Curtis

In January 2014, roughly 200 people fleeing the conflict in South Sudan drowned when a boat crossing the Nile River sank.

The ongoing warfare in the country had displaced more than 400,000 people that year, according to the United Nations.

In March 2014, in the neighbouring country of Uganda, an overloaded boat capsized carrying killing 251 people on Lake Albert between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.

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Boat sinks killing more than 500 migrants

In this Aug. 15, 2013 file photo, Italian Coast Guard officers and holiday-makers help migrants to get off a boat near Siracusa, Italy.

On Oct. 3, 2013, a boat carrying more than 500 migrants from Eritrea caught fire and sank after leaving Libya.

As the ship began sinking, a blanket was lit on fire to signal a nearby boats, but grew out of control as it ignited gasoline engulfing the whole ship. At least 366 people drowned after being trapped inside the vessel.

The incident happened near Tunisia and has become a major point of entry for illegal migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa.

Costa Concordia runs aground killing 32, captain abandons ship

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The Costa Concordia hit rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 2012 with 3,200 tourists on board. While the ship only partially sunk, 32 people were killed during the nighttime evacuation.

READ MORE: Calgary’s Costa Concordia survivor says she can’t forgive captain

The fallout from the maritime accident became more well-known for the actions of the ship’s captain Francesco Schettino. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison after being found guilty of multiple charges including manslaughter, causing a maritime accident and abandoning his ship before the passengers and crew could be rescued.



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