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Divers Search for Survivors of Sunken S. Korea Ferry

09-08-2014
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Nearly 300 people are still missing and two are confirmed dead after a ferry sank off the coast of South Korea.

Kang Byung-kyu, a South Korean government minister, said a female crew member and a male high school student were confirmed dead. A third body, believed to be a student, and a fourth unidentified victim have been recovered.

He said of the 164 passengers rescued so far, 55 were being treated for injuries.

The ferry was carrying 459 people, the majority -- about 300 -- high school students on a four-day school trip to the island of Jeju.

One witness said he felt the ferry tilt and crash into something. He said passengers were told to remain seated, but he didn't hear any orders to abandon ship.

Coast Guard crews tried to break into the ferry before it sank to rescue people trapped inside. According to one South Korean deputy minister, 160 coast guard and navy divers are searching for survivors.

The USS Bonhomme Richard, patrolling off South Korea's west coast, offered to assist in the rescue efforts.

Fox News quoted an anonymous emergency official saying the frigid water could cause hypothermia after two hours.

The ferry is now resting on the ocean floor under 100 feet of water.

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