South Korea tragedy: ferry SEWOL sunk off Incheon
The South Korean passenger ferry SEWOL with 475 people on board listed heavily on port side and finally sunk within two hours today morning off South Korea.
As reported by officials two people died, seven persons are injured and nearly 300 passengers are still unaccounted for. Rescue operation is undergoing, dozens of rescue ships, navy vessels and helicopters are engaged in the operation.
The vessel was sailing from Incheon to Jeju Island. At about 9 a.m. of local time the ferry sent an emergency call after it began listing to one side. Within a few hours the SEWOL was lying on its port side showing a blue hull above water.
Among the SEWOL's passenger there were about 340 students and teachers, who took a school trip to Jeju Island.
According to the officials, there was no immediate sign of what had led the ship to lean on its side. However, one of the witnesses told there was a very loud noise before the ferry began taking on water, which may indicate that the ship hit the ground.
Pictures of the sunken SEWOL, taken by the Republic of Korea Coast Guard. Photographs: Courtesy Republic of Korea Coast Guard via Getty Images.
Passengers sliding out of capsized ferry and scrambling toward rescue boats. pic.twitter.com/5G5WGSkeLn
— Chico Harlan (@chicoharlan) April 16, 2014