Ferry Sinks and Death Toll Rises to Hundreds

by Allison Petkoff

Over 100 people have been declared dead due to a ferry sinking off the coast of South Korea on Wednesday, April 16. Onboard the ferry contained 475 people, and most were high school students on their way to a school event. Many are still missing.

Trouble began when the ferry hit an object and survivors report hearing a loud bang at that time. The passengers were told to stay where they were at this first sign of trouble. By the time they were told to leave the ship, the ship was too tilted for many to escape. The boat had turned over in the water within a period of two hours. There is evidence of mistakes in guidance made by the captain of the ship. According to NPR, “The 69-year-old captain, Lee Jun-Seok, faces five counts including negligence of duty and violation of maritime law,” South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports.

The death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are found. However, 179 people have been rescued from the site.  According to Reuters, the area of the disaster is “relatively shallow” so evaluating the situation may be less difficult.  Yet, the situation is still an extremely emotional one.

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