Seoul ( AsiaNews) - A ferry carrying 476 people from Incheon to the South Korean island of Jeju overturned this morning off the southern coast. At the moment, two people are confirmed dead, but 100 people are still missing. The authorities ordered the rescue effort to use "every available means in rescue operations": 368 people have so far been rescued by 34 ships military, civilian and Coast Guard vessels engaged in the area.
The Sewol ferry was carrying mostly students: a group of 330 young people from Danwon Ansan high school, Seoul, on a school trip of four days to the island. It is not yet clear what caused the ship to capsize, some witnesses claim to have heard a loud noise before it started to list to one side. It is currently completely submerged , and only the bottom is visible.
The two victims are a crew member, a 27 year old woman
found dead by rescuers, and a young student who died after being rescued from
the ferry. 23 people are injured , including about a dozen in serious condition.
Rescuers hope that the missing were rescued by merchant passing vessels which have
not yet announced their presence on board, but some of the survivors are
Yoo , 57, says: " We heard a bang and the ship suddenly overturned. There were restaurants, shops and amusement arcades below deck, , I do not think the passengers who were there were able to escape".
The deputy Interior Minister Lee Gyeong-og stated that the President Park Geun-hye is following the situation "by the minute", urging rescuers to be relentless in the search for missing passengers and clarified that for the moment the 'executive' is not excluding any hypothesis "regarding the cause that led to the tragedy .