Update: SEWOL ferry disaster in South Korea

Poor weather conditions and strong currents hinder the search and rescue operations in the waters were ferry SEWOL with more than 470 people aboard capsized and sunk on Wednesday, April 16th, at about 9 am local time.

The South Korean Government confirmed that over 280 persons are still missing, most of them students, while the number of confirmed dead persons raised to 9.

It is hoped that people in the ferry are still alive, surviving in air pockets. However several attempts of divers to access the ferry failed due to the local weather conditions and the average water temperature is only 13° Celcius.

The captain of the ship is suspected of having left the ship as one of the first persons, together with several crew members, while passengers were initially advised to remain at their places for security reasons.

The cause of the accident was not known, though survivors said they heard a banging noise before the ship suddenly started sinking. Speculation has arisen that the ship might have hit an underwater rock or collided with another vessel.

See also previous news here.

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