WEAR - Search Results
South Korean ferry boat accident
SOUTH KOREA -- At least four people are dead and hundreds are missing after a ferry boat capsized and sank in South Korea.
Dozens of ships and helicopter have joined the rescue effort but the likelihood that victims were trapped inside the ship has raised worries the number lost will rise.
As ABC's Susan Saulny has the latest on the rescue operations underway.
A desperate scene unfolding today in the water off the southern coast of South Korea. A rescue operation is underway after a large ferry with 462 passengers onboard - many of them high school student - turned on its side and sank while on an overnight trip to a resort island.
The ferry sent a distress call at around 9 am local time after it began to shake and take on water. Survivors said they heard a loud crash before the ferry began to sink. Now, at least four are reported dead and nearly 300 people remain missing as South Korean coast guard and Navy divers search for survivors inside the ship's wreckage. Hundreds of vessels and aircraft are scrambling to assist.
"It was very intense," this survivor recalled. "the ship was tilted more than 45 degrees."
Survivors among the high school students on board described chaos
An emergency announcement told us we should stay still, this survivor who scrambled to safety said. But the ship was already sinking. And there were a lot of students who did not get out of the ship. Many passengers were at breakfast. Others, still in bed.
The high number of people unaccounted for - either trapped below deck or lost at sea - is raising fears the death toll could jump dramatically.
This survivor described how hard it was to escape. He/she said, "I tried to break the cabin window using a fire extinguisher, hitting it three times, but it wouldn't break."
No one knows yet what caused this ship to sink, or why passengers were told to stay put. If hundreds of the missing have in fact drowned, this could be South Korea's worst ferry disaster in more than 20 years.