Panamax bulk carrier Guo Yuan 1, operated by Fujian Guohang Ocean Shipping, collided with three river vessels at Zhenjiang anchorage on Tuesday evening.
The three vessels were tied together and anchored and all sank after the collision. Five crew from the sunken ships were rescued, while another four crew remain missing.
Search and rescue operations for the missing crew are ongoing.
The 1987-built Guo Yuan 1, which was on its way to Nanjing, has been detained by local authorities. Preliminary investigations shows the vessel lost control when sailing into the anchorage.