(UPDATE) South Korean ferry boat sinks; 290 missing, 6 dead

April 16, 2014
Sewol, a 6,835-ton ferry boat, has left 284 unaccounted for and four dead. / Yonhap

Sewol, a 6,835-ton ferry boat, has left 284 unaccounted for and four dead. / Yonhap

Check here for further updates on the story.

Updated at 4:59 p.m. PT: According to Yonhap, the incident may have occurred as a result of the ship veering into another course too abruptly, causing the bound cargo in the hull to come loose. The cargo may have swept onto one side of the ship to make the Sewol lose its balance.

Updated at 12:02 p.m. PT: 290 missing, 6 dead, according to Yonhap. 

By Kim Da-ye

At least four people were killed, with the fate of 284 others unknown, in the sinking of a South Korean ferry off the country’s southwestern coast, officials said early Thursday in Korea.

As military divers and other rescuers resumed a desperate search for survivors shortly after noon, two more bodies were recovered, the Coast Guard announced.

The incident happened just near Jeju.

The incident happened just near Jindo.

A total of 433 passengers and 29 crewmembers were on board.

Among them were 325 students and 15 teachers from Danwon High School in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, who were on a four-day school trip to Jeju Island. Seventy-eight students have been rescued.

The four killed were Jung Cha-woong, 16, a Danwon High School student, Park Ji-young, a 27-year-old crew member, a male who appeared to be a student and an unidentified person.

Many of the missing were trapped inside the boat, according to the Coast Guard. Survivors said an announcement from the captain asking passengers to stay inside the cabin worsened the situation.

Jin Gyu-jong, a former Navy specialist, told YTN that considering the low temperatures, it was unlikely that there were many survivors among the missing. “Unfortunately,” Jin said.

Rescue operations were delayed because of fast currents and poor visibility. More than 100 Navy, Coast Guard and other vessels and aircraft scoured the area for the missing.

Coast Guard officers carry out rescue operations on the sunken ferry, Sewol, in waters off the southern coast, Wednesday. / Yonhap

Coast Guard officers carry out rescue operations on the sunken ferry, Sewol, in waters off the southern coast, Wednesday. / Yonhap

The Sewol, a 6,835-ton ferry capable of carrying more than 900 passengers and over 200 cars, sent out a distress call at 8:58 a.m.

“The ship suddenly listed by about 60 degrees first and this slowly increased until it reached 90 degrees,” said Kang In-hwan, 57, a survivor who was treated at Mokpo Hankuk Hospital in Mokpo.

The ferry departed Incheon Tuesday night, and was scheduled to arrive at Jeju Island Wednesday morning.

There was some speculation that the ship was sailing off course to arrive on time after a weather-caused delay and hit a rock but the operator of the ship, Cheonghaejin Marine, denied this, saying it had not deviated significantly from its usual route.

The Sewol usually departs Incheon at 6:30 p.m. and arrives at Jeju Island at 8 a.m. the following day. The ferry departed Tuesday around 9 p.m. because of thick fog.

The vessel was allegedly being skippered by its alternate captain, as the usual ship’s master was on holiday.

One injured passenger identified as Kim told Yonhap News that he was near the bottom of the vessel and heard a loud scratching sound.

An official at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries confirmed that the location where the accident is believed to have taken place is a “bedrock area.”

Minister of Security and Public Administration Kang Byung-gyu declined to speak about the cause, saying, “We will make no predictions. There are many possibilities, but we will be careful because it is about lives”

The vessel sank two hours after the Coast Guard received a report that the ferry was being flooded near an island off Jindo, South Jeolla Province.

A 57-year-old passenger interviewed by Yonhap News said that the vessel suddenly began listing after a bumping sound.

The man, identified as Yoo, said, “A broadcast said, ‘Stay where you are.’ But I couldn’t because the water level was rising. I wore the safety jacket and came out. If they told us to evacuate immediately, it would have been better.”

Only the bow of the capsized passenger ship, Sewol, remains above water in seas around 20 kilometers off the country’s southern island of Jindo, Wednesday. / Yonhap

Only the bow of the capsized passenger ship, Sewol, remains above water in seas around 20 kilometers off the country’s southern island of Jindo, Wednesday. / Yonhap

Meanwhile, the Navy, Coast Guard and fishing boats in the area joined in the rescue efforts. The U.S. Navy also sent help.

Cheonghaejin Marine said that it has insurance of up to $300 million per passenger. In addition, it has a separate 10 billion ($9.6) won policy to cover the boat.

People were frustrated over the confusion about the number of those rescued in the afternoon. At Danwon High School, parents were in an agonizing wait for a call from their children. At one point, the school announced that all students were rescued but soon backtracked, causing parents’ uproar.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters said that 368 were saved by 1:30 p.m., but later admitted that the information was wrong. Later, the Minister of Security and Public Administration said that there were some people counted twice.

moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher air max pas cher air max pas cher stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher nike tn squalo nike air max outlet mcm outlet online moose knuckles outlet happiness outlet happiness outlet shoes