2 dead, 100 missing as ferry capsizes off South Korea

2 dead, 100 missing as ferry capsizes off South Korea

PanARMENIAN.Net - Two people have died and more than 100 remain unaccounted for after a ferry carrying 476 people capsized and sank off South Korea, according to BBC News.

So far, 368 people have been rescued, local reports say. A major rescue operation is under way, involving 34 naval, coastguard and civilian ships, and 18 helicopters.

The ferry, carrying mainly school students, was travelling from the port of Incheon, in the north-west, to the southern resort island of Jeju. Images showed the ferry listing at a severe angle and then later largely submerged, with only a small part of its hull visible.

Balanced on the sinking hull, rescue teams pulled the teenagers from cabin windows. Some of their classmates jumped into the sea as the ship went down.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye had ordered coast guard commandos to search the ship so that no-one was left behind, Yonhap news agency reported. Navy divers were also reportedly on scene.

One body, of a female crew member, had been recovered from the ship, the coastguard said. Another person is reported to have died after being rescued. It is not yet clear what caused the incident, but witnesses described hearing an impact, before the ship listed and quickly sank.

Earlier reports put the number of passengers on the ferry at about 350. The vessel is reported to have a capacity of up to 900 people.

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