“South Korean rescue teams, including elite navy SEAL divers, raced Wednesday to find nearly 300 people missing after a ferry sank with 459 on board, mostly high school students bound for a holiday island.
Lee Gyeong-Og, the vice minister of security and public administration, said 164 people had been rescued, leaving 292 “unaccounted for”. His office said there were three confirmed deaths, including a female crew member and a student.
There are fears that the final death toll will be high, after the 6,825-tonne ship listed sharply, capsized and finally sank all within two hours of sending a distress signal at 9:00am (0000 GMT).
“I’m afraid there’s little chance for those trapped inside to still be alive,” said one senior rescue team official, speaking by phone from the scene.”