April 16, 2014; On Seoul, a passenger ship carrying 459 passengers capsized on Wednesday leaving 2 dead and 293 believed to be missing. There is a search and rescue operation going on at the vicinity where the ship capsized wherein rescue teams and elite Navy SEAL divers joined together to find the missing passengers.

The 6,825-tonne ship sank within two hours of sending a distress signal a 9:00 am (0000GMT). There was an announcement earlier that 368 passengers had been rescued and the government retracted the report. Instead, there are only 164 people who are surely safe. According to Lee Gyeong-Og, the vice minister of security and public administration, the remaining 293 are unaccounted for during a press briefing in Seoul.

The vessel sank 20 kilometers off the southern Island of Byungpoong and the two passengers who are confirmed dead are a male student and a female crew member.

South Korean Passenger Ship Capsize: 293 Missing

The incident was shown on television by aerial footage wherein the passengers struggled to get to the rescue boat while the ship was sinking. Some were sliding while the rescuers are trying to rescue them along with a fishing boat that was pulling them to safety.

The total number of passengers is 429 and with that number, more than 300 were students travelling with 14 students to a popular resort in an island of Jeju. They came from Ansan.

According to reports, many of the passengers were rescued by fishing boats and other commercial vessels before the arrival of coastguard, navy ships and helicopters.

The rescuers which include divers and Navy SEALS are searching for the ship and according to Lee, the visibility is very low underwater and there is so much mud that made it challenging for them to retrieve the ship.

This is one of the worst incidents that took place in the vicinity aside from what took place in October 1993 when nearly 300 people died when a ferry capsized.

Until now, the authorities are still finding for the cause of sinking. According to a testimony of some, the ship could have been aground that destroyed its keel and eventually sank. source

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