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 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
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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

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.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More