Seoul: A passenger ship with 459 people aboard, mostly high school students, sank in waters off South Korea's southwest coast Wednesday, leaving at least two people dead and 293 others missing, a official said.
Lee Kyung-ok, vice minister of Security and public administration, said two people have been found dead, and 164 people were rescued, but 293 others were confirmed missing, Xinhua reported.
The 6,325-tonne passenger ship "SEWOL" sank into waters off the Jindo island, just off the southwest corner of the Korean Peninsula, around 11.30 a.m. (15.30 GMT) Wednesday.
The ferry, carrying 429 passengers and 30 crew members, sent out a distress signal around 8.55 a.m. and had floated in the waters for some two and a half hours with its body being on a careen.
The 429 passengers on board included 325 high school students and 15 teachers who were on a school journey.