News / Asia

South Korea Continues Search For Survivors of Sunken Ferry

South Korea Continues Search For Survivors of Sunken Ferryi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Zlatica Hoke
April 17, 2014 8:35 PM
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 that a U.S. Navy ship stands ready to assist in the massive rescue operation
South Korea Continues Search For Survivors of Sunken Ferry
Zlatica Hoke
South Korea continues desperate efforts to save 268 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. So far, 28 people have been confirmed dead and 179 have been plucked from the sunken vessel or the waters around it. A U.S. Navy ship stands ready to assist in the massive rescue operation.

Coast Guard, military vessels, helicopters and divers have been searching for survivors of the sunken ferry. Distraught parents gathered along the coast hoping for the return of their children and bracing for the worst. This mother of an 18-year-old student describes her shock at hearing that the ship has sunk.

"I felt like my heart stopped," she said. "I can't describe the feeling with one word.  I was too shocked. I can't even talk about it."

It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily to one side and capsized in calm waters off South Korea's southwest coast. Some survivors reported hearing a loud noise before the vessel started sinking.

Some of the passengers who jumped into the water as the ferry went down were picked up by commercial vessels. Rescue teams balanced on the sinking hull to pull some people from cabin windows and helicopter crews plucked others from the deck.

Survivors were taken to a temporary shelter where they were wrapped into blankets and received medical assistance.  
  
"I held a handrail and moved toward the right side of the ferry to ride a helicopter as water kept coming in," said Kim.

Many others were not so lucky and remained trapped in the ship's cabins.

An elderly woman says she followed the crew's instructions to stay in place.

"I was keeping still without making any movements," she said. "There was an announcement that we should not move."

The Sewol sank Wednesday morning near the island of Jindo.  Officials from the company that owns the ship apologized for the accident.  During a meeting with emergency officials, South Korean President Park Geun-hye expressed her sympathies to those affected.

"I think it is truly tragic that the students who were going on a field trip and the passengers were involved in such an unfortunate accident," said the president.

The U.S. Navy's amphibious assault ship, USS Bonhomme Richard, is nearby and has helicopters and boats to help if needed. The large ship was on routine patrol in waters west of the Korean peninsula. Low water temperatures and fast currents worsened the situation overnight for any possible survivors.

Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs