Death Toll Rises, Hundreds of School Children Still Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 16 2014 7:18 PM

Death Toll Rises, Hundreds of School Children Still Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks

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The Republic of Korea Coast Guard work at the site of ferry sinking accident off the coast of Jindo Island on April 16, 2014.

Photo by Park Young-Chul-Donga Daily via Getty Images

Rescuers continued their search on Thursday for survivors after a ferry sank off the coast of South Korea carrying more than 450 people. According to the BBC, South Korean officials say 174 people have been rescued so far, six people are thought to have died and dozens more injured.

It is still not known what caused the ferry—named the Sewol—to sink on Wednesday morning. The South Korean government says the 480-foot ferry, which was on an overnight 14-hour journey, sent a distress signal three hours from its destination after it began to list, before capsizing two hours later. The passengers onboard were predominantly school children on a class trip. There are reported to have been more than 300 students on the ferry when it sank.

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Here’s more from the Associated Press: “Early Thursday, divers, helicopters and boats continued to search for survivors from the ferry, which slipped beneath the surface until only the blue-tipped, forward edge of the keel was visible. The high number of people unaccounted for — possibly trapped in the ship or floating in the chilly water nearby — raised fears that the death toll could increase drastically.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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