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Monday, January 30, 2017, 17:12

3 Chinese tourists dead as boat sinks off Malaysia

By Xinhua

3 Chinese tourists dead as boat sinks off Malaysia
A survivor of a sank boat is attended the Malaysia Marine Operation Force post in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on Jan 30, 2017. (Photo / AP)

KOTA KINABALU/BEIJING – The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday asked Malaysia to continue search and rescue efforts for Chinese nationals who were on board a boat that sank off Malaysia's Sabah State on Saturday evening, leaving at least three Chinese tourists dead.

The boat carrying 31 people, including 28 tourists from China, went missing on Saturday after sailing from Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia to Pulau Mengalum, a popular tourist island, some 60 km west to Kota Kinabalu.

Police said two crew members of the boat were arrested for causing death by negligence

Two crew members of the boat were arrested, police said Monday.

In a social media posting, Sabah police chief Ramli Din said both men had been held under Section 304A of the Penal Code for causing death by negligence.

The skipper and a crewman were the first to be rescued after their boat went missing on Saturday.

Director General of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said three Chinese tourists were found dead early Monday.

The rescued tourists were brought to Kota Kinabalu early Monday, he added.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry, 20 Chinese tourists were rescued and five were remaining missing.

Chen Peijie, Chinese Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu, said the surviving Chinese tourists suffered different degrees of injuries.

Shahidan Kassim, a minister in the Malaysia's Prime Minister's Department, told a press conference Sunday night that the boat was broken by strong wave before wrecked in bad weather and rough sea.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, maritime police as well as Malaysian navy and air force joined the search efforts, he added.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang expressed hope that Malaysia would report the developments promptly.

3 Chinese tourists dead as boat sinks off Malaysia
Survivors of a sank boat receive medical assistance at the Malaysia Marine Operation Force post in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on Jan 30, 2017. (Photo / AP)

"In the meantime, China hopes the Malaysian side will carry out fair and objective investigation to find out the truth as early as possible," said Geng.

Geng expressed deep condolences to the victims, adding that the Chinese Consulate General's Office based in Kota Kinabalu, the state capital, had sent staff to coordinate rescue work with the search and rescue center.

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