By Mahmut Atanur
BEIJING (AA) – Chinese rescuers have announced that the death toll from a leisure boat capsizing in a lake in southwestern Sichuan Province has risen to 14 with one person still missing.
The state-run China Daily reported Sunday that search operations were ongoing for the person still unaccounted for since the accident occurred during a three-hour tour of Bailong Lake on June 4.
The boat had reportedly been carrying 18 people -- many of them young couples with their children.
Four of those on board were rescued immediately after the incident, but a child among them later died in hospital.
Authorities are blaming the accident on strong winds across the area at the time.
A survivor named Wang Mingxing had earlier told state news agency Xinhua that his friends on board had decided not to wear life jackets due to the warm weather and also helped their children take theirs off.
"I grabbed a life jacket before the boat sank. It happened too fast. I saw just two or three men in the water, and soon they disappeared," Wang said.
The incident occurred just over a year after a cruise ship capsized in the Yangtze River, killing 454 people in China's worst ferry disaster in nearly seven decades.