Last Update 12:39
Tuesday, 12 November 2019
Multimedia
PHOTO GALLERY: Search resumes for hundreds missing in S. Korean ferry disaster


S. Korean ferry disaster
The mother (R) of a passenger who was on a sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
The mother of a passenger who was on a sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son's name in the survivors list at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
Family members of missing students who were on the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank in the sea off Jindo attend a candlelight vigil at Danwon High School in Ansan April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
In this photo released by South Korea Coast Guard via Yonhap News Agency, South Korean rescue team boats and fishing boats try to rescue passengers of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast, in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (Photo: AP)
S. Korean ferry disaster
Members of the South Korean coast guard rescue passengers from the water next to a partially sunken ferry, off South Korea's southwest coast in this still image from a video released by the South Korean coast guard April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
A maritime police helicopter rescues passengers who were onboard South Korean ferry "Sewol" which capsized off Jindo April 16, 2014 in this picture provided by West Regional Headquarters Korea Coast Guard and released by News1 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
South Korean coast guard officers try to rescue passengers from a ferry sinking in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (Photo: AP)
S. Korean ferry disaster
Helicopters are seen above a South Korean passenger ship (C) that has been sinking, in the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
South Korean ferry "Sewol" is seen sinking at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
Maritime police search for missing passengers near the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
Maritime police search for missing passenger as lighting flares are released for a night search, following the sinking of South Korean ferry "Sewol" at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
Family members of missing passengers who were on the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank in the sea off Jindo wait for a rescue team's arrival at a port where family members of missing passengers gathered in Jindo April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
S. Korean ferry disaster
A rescue worker wait for a rescue team's arrival at a port where family members of missing passengers gathered in Jindo April 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Apr
16

South Korean coastguards and navy divers resumed their search on Thursday for nearly 280 people still missing after a ferry capsized in what could be the country's worst maritime disaster in over 20 years

They will also be seeking answers to many unanswered questions surrounding Wednesday's accident, notably what caused the Sewol vessel to list and then flip over entirely, leaving only a small section of its hull above water.

Rescue efforts on Thursday could be be hampered by difficult weather conditions, however, amid forecasts of rain, strong winds and fog.

Of 462 passengers on board the ferry when it set sail from the port of Incheon late on Tuesday, 179 have been rescued and six people are known to have died.

Nearly 340 of the passengers were teenagers and teachers from the same school near the capital Seoul on a field trip to Jeju island, about 100 km (60 miles) south of the Korean peninsula.

Parents of missing children faced an agonising wait for news as they gathered in Jindo, a town close to where ferry capsized.

"My tears have dried up," said one mother, who did not give her name. "I am holding on to hope. I hope the government does everything to bring these kids back to their mothers."

At the dockside in Jindo, women sat and stared out at the black, calm sea before them, quietly sobbing.

 

CLUES SOUGHT

It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry had listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm waters off South Korea's southwest coast, but some survivors spoke of a loud noise prior to the disaster.

A member of the crew of a local government ship involved in the rescue, who said he had spoken to members of the sunken ferry's crew, described the area as free of reefs or rocks and said the cause was likely to be some sort of malfunction on the vessel.

There were reports of the ferry having veered off its course, but coordinates of the site of the accident provided by port authorities indicated it was not far off the regular shipping lane.

The ferry sent a distress signal early on Wednesday, the coastguard said, triggering a rescue operation that involved almost 100 coastguard and navy vessels and fishing boats, as well as 18 helicopters.

A U.S. navy ship was at the scene to help, the U.S. Seventh Fleet said, adding it was ready to offer more assistance.

According to a coastguard official in Jindo, the waters where the ferry capsized have some of the strongest tides of any off South Korea's coast, meaning divers were prevented from entering the mostly submerged ship for several hours.

Adding to the sense of confusion on Wednesday, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration initially reported that 368 people had been rescued and that about 100 were missing.

But it later described those figures as a miscalculation, turning what had at first appeared to be a largely successful rescue operation into potentially a major disaster.

The ship has a capacity of about 900 people, an overall length of 146 metres (480 feet) and weighs 6,586 gross tonnes. Shipping records show it was built in Japan in 1994.

According to public shipping databases, the registered owner of the ship is Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd, based in Incheon. Reuters was unable to reach the company by phone.

Earlier, company officials offered an apology over the accident but declined to comment further.

The databases showed that Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd became the owner of the vessel in October, 2012.

| | Share/Bookmark |


Search Keywords:
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.