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One person found dead in sinking South Korean ferry: coast guard

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 01:35

April 16 - One person has been found dead in a South Korean ferry that is sinking off the southwest coast. Sarah Toms reports.

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A dramatic rescue bid...dozens of commercial boats, naval ships and helicopters attempt to pluck passengers of this South Korean ferry to safety. About 160 people so far have been rescued, many of them high school students and teachers on a field trip. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN VICE MINISTER OF SECURITY AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, LEE GYEONG-OG, SAYING: "The ferry heading to Jeju island from Incheon, the 6,325-ton vessel, were carrying a total of 476 people. Among them, passengers were 452 and crewmen were 24. The passengers included 325 high school students from Ansan Danwon High School." But at least two people have died and a complex operation is still underway to save the remaining 300 or so on board. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN VICE MINISTER OF SECURITY AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, LEE GYEONG-OG, SAYING: "Eighteen helicopters were mobilized for the rescue work with firefighting team, coast guard, Navy and police forces. 34 vessels from the coast guard and 25 from Navy were mobilized as well." The Sewol started to list badly as it neared Jeju island, some 100 kilometres south of the Korean peninsula. Passengers reported hearing a loud bang. Within hours it was lying like this -- on its port side. It rapidly submerged and soon after the ship had completely capsized with just the top of its hull showing above the water. It's not know why the ferry capsized but heavy fog had set in overnight off the west coast, and many island passenger ferry services were cancelled.

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One person found dead in sinking South Korean ferry: coast guard

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 01:35