News / Asia

    Search Continues for Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks

    South Korea Continues Search for Survivors of Sunken Ferryi
    X
    April 17, 2014 4:14 AM
    South Korea continues desperate efforts to save some 300 people still missing a day after a ferry carrying about 470 passengers sank off the country's southwestern coast. Most of the passengers were high school students and their teachers on an excursion. At least six people have been confirmed dead so far, and about 180 have been plucked from the sunken vessel or the waters around it. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.
    VOA News
    South Korean divers resumed searching Thursday for 282 people - many of them teenagers - missing nearly 24 hours after an ocean-going ferry capsized near an island off the South Korean coast.
    Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship "Sewol" which sank, during their rescue operation in the sea off Jindo, April 17, 2014.Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship "Sewol" which sank, during their rescue operation in the sea off Jindo, April 17, 2014.
    x
    Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship "Sewol" which sank, during their rescue operation in the sea off Jindo, April 17, 2014.
    Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship "Sewol" which sank, during their rescue operation in the sea off Jindo, April 17, 2014.
    Coast guard officials say 25 people were confirmed dead by early Thursday, and that 179 others had been rescued.  

    Authorities warn the death toll could rise sharply as rescuers probe the wreckage in waters 32 meters deep.  Officials reported water temperature at just over 12 degrees Celsius - a temperature cold enough to cause hypothermia in a matter of hours.  

    Dozens of helicopters and ships are involved in the search and rescue effort, and a U.S. naval amphibious assault ship remained on standby to provide support if requested.
     
    • South Korean Coast Guard officers try to rescue missing passengers from a sunken ferry in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014. 
    • Family members of missing children gather at a gymnasium in Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014.
    • Relatives of passengers board a South Korean Coast Guard boat to go to the scene of the rescue area, Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014. 
    • Mothers of the missing children that were aboard the sunken ferry listen to South Korean President Park Geun-hye speak, Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014.
    • A TV cameraman films weeping relatives of the missing passengers from the sunken ferry, Sewol, at a port in Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014. 
    • An official on a Coast Guard ship points at a radar display of the area where the ferry sank off the southern coast near Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014. 
    • The South Korean ferry "Sewol" is seen sinking in the sea off Jindo, South Korea, April 16, 2014.
    • This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.
    • This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a rescue worker helps people climb onto a side of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast, April 16, 2014.
    • Rescued passengers cry at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo, South Korea, April 16, 2014.
    • The mother of a passenger who was on a sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son's name in the survivors list at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo, South Korea, April 16, 2014.
    • Helicopters fly toward the sinking ferry that was on its way to Jeju island from Incheon, April 16, 2014.
    • People watch a TV news program showing the sinking ferry, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, April 16, 2014.

    South Korea Minister of Security and Public Administration Kang Byung-kyu said floating cranes will attempt to lift the almost completely submerged boat out of the water.

    "A total of 555 divers were mobilized for search operations and three cranes departed [for the accident area] last night. One crane will arrive tomorrow morning and two will arrive at night," said Byung-kyu.
    This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.
    x
    This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.
    This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.
    The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol departed from the port of Incheon, west of Seoul, Tuesday night for the island of Jeju, some 100 kilometers off the southwest coast.  The vessel was also carrying about 150 cars and trucks.

    Authorities have not established the cause of the sinking.  But some survivors reported hearing a loud impact noise before the vessel rolled onto its side and began sinking.

    Many passengers said they were initially told to stay in their seats and not try to escape, a development that outraged many families of those missing.

    Kim Young-bung, the head of the Chonghaejin Marine Company that operated the ferry, on Thursday apologized for the disaster.

    "We deeply apologized to the families and I'm saying again that we're really sorry. Our company will promise that we'll do our best not to lose any more lives. We're sorry," said Young-bung.

    Among the passengers were 325 students from a high school near Seoul, traveling to the popular resort island for a four-day field trip and sightseeing.

    Heavy fog was reported in the area on Tuesday evening, but it is not known whether it contributed to the sinking.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: bo from: alabama
    April 18, 2014 3:14 PM
    would someone explain why rescuers cant cut a hole in side or bottom of boat, part that is out of the water, instead of trying to dive under water to get in. seems like such a common sense approach. but im just ordinary concerned parent without rescue experience. just wondering
    In Response

    by: Chris from: California
    April 18, 2014 8:38 PM
    Firstly they would most likely be cutting into the fuel reserves between the ships internal hulls. If they cut a hole in the hull, the water pressure would be able to force the air that is still trapped out and the ship would sink. The fact that there isn't a hole in the hull is the only reason it's still floating.

    by: Samurai from: Japan
    April 18, 2014 2:39 AM
    Let me express sinsere condolances to the casualties.
    Why does the S. Korean government refuse Japanese government's offer to send better-trained rescue staff and ships? S. Korean leader's poor policy and arrogant attitude have again broken the good relation between the two countries' nationals.

    by: MC_VoA from: Puerto Rico
    April 17, 2014 4:57 PM
    I know hindsight is 20/20. I still want to know why they could not close the opened windows and pump the vessel with air, warm air preferably, so that the remaining passengers could not just breath air but they could also be dry while divers rescued them? The inverted vessel sank fast but not completely so they could have pumped air like crazy unto it.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora