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More than 300 people missing after South Korea ferry sinks

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 - 01:40

April 16 - Coastguard says more than 300 people unaccounted for from a ferry sinking off the southwest coast. Sarah Toms reports.

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It was supposed to be a fun trip to the holiday island off the southwestern coast of South Korea. Instead it became a nightmare as passengers -- mostly high school children and teachers -- ended clinging to the ferry's sinking hull. Rescue teams clambored up the side of the ship, precariously balanced as they pulled people to safety. Other terrified passengers were winched to safety by helicopters. Some students jumped into the sea as the ship went down..... (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN RESCUED STUDENT SAYING: "The ferry started to list, so we asked if we should escape now, but the announcement kept telling us to stay still. I'm so worried about the students in rooms." Around 160 people have been rescued from the ferry, which was travelling from Incheon. But more than 300 people are still unaccounted for and some deaths have already been confirmed. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN RESCUED STUDENT SAYING: "There was an announcement telling us to sit still at the ferry, but the ferry was already sinking. Some of the students were not able to escape." Many here said they heard a loud bang within hours the ferry was nearly completely submerged -- just the top of the hull showing. Distraught parents gathered at the high school, desperate for news. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 43-YEAR-OLD JUNG KYEONG-MI, MOTHER OF 18-YEAR-OLD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT KIM SOO-BIN, SAYING: "I felt like my heart stopped. I can't describe the feeling with one word. I was too shocked. I can't even talk about it." There were chaotic scenes in the school's auditorium, as frantic parents were reunited with their children, while others tried to discover if they were still alive.

More than 300 people missing after South Korea ferry sinks

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 - 01:40

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