Ferry Sinks in South Korea: Sewol ferry carries 459 passengers

By on Apr 16, 2014 in Asia, Travel, World Comments
ferry sinks in South Korea

South Korea ferry sinks
Credit: Yonhap

A ferry reportedly sank off the southern coast in South Korea on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The South Korean ferry, named Sewol, sinks with 459 passengers, with 292 still missing and 4 confirmed dead.

Check out the video of the sunken South Korea ferry by clicking here.

Reports say that most of the passengers of the sunken ferry were high school students scheduled for a four-day trip to the South Korean tourist island of Jeju.

Ships and helicopters were quickly deployed by authorities to help in the search and rescue of the ferry passengers.

The sinking is reportedly the biggest South Korean ferry disaster since 1993, wherein 292 people died.

Some 160 coast guard and navy divers searched for survivors inside the ship’s wreckage a few kilometers (miles) from Byeongpung Island, which is not far from the mainland.

Three hours from its destination, the ferry sent a distress call at about 9 a.m. Wednesday after it began listing to one side, according to the Ministry of Security and Public Administration. Officials didn’t know what caused it to sink and said the focus was still on rescuing survivors.

Sewol is said to be a 146-meter (480-foot) -long ship, which travels twice a week between Incheon and Jeju, was built in Japan in 1994 and could carry a maximum of 921 people, 180 vehicles and 152 shipping containers.

The students — half of them boys and half girls— are from Danwon High School in Ansan city, which is near Seoul, and were on their way to Jeju island for a four-day trip, according to a relief team set up by Gyeonggi province, which governs the city. There are faster ways to get to Jeju, but some people take the ferry from Incheon because it is cheaper than flying. Many South Korean high schools organize trips for students in their first or second years, and Jeju is a popular destination. The students on the ferry were in their second year, which would make most of them 16 or 17.

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