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In the second major transportation disaster to strike east Asia in 40 days 295 remain missing when the Korean 480 foot long ferry Sewol sank on Wednesday morning about 12 miles from the island of Jeju.  

Hundreds Missing After Ferry Sinks off South Korea's Coast

By JOOHEE CHO

Hundreds of people are missing and at least two are confirmed dead after a ferry carrying 477 passengers, many of them students, sank in cold waters off South Korea’s southern coast Wednesday.

There were fears of a big jump in the number of deaths, as dozens of boats, helicopters and divers scrambled to rescue passengers who had been on the ferry travelling to the southern island of Jeju. One rescued passenger said he believed that many people had been trapped inside the ferry when it sank.

“As the ferry was shaking and tilting, we all tripped and bumped into each another,” Lim said, adding that some people were bleeding. Once he jumped, the ocean “was so cold. … I was hurrying, thinking that I wanted to live.”

The water temperature in the area was about 12 degrees Celsius, cold enough to cause signs of hypothermia after about 90 minutes or 2 hours, according to an emergency official who spoke on condition of anonymity citing department rules.

urvivors tell of panic on board as ferry tilts, then capsizes

By Frances Cha and Madison Park, CNN

At first, "we thought it was because of the tide," Kim said.

The waves had been smooth until the ship suddenly tilted, witnesses said.

The ship kept tilting further and an announcement blared through the loudspeakers warning passengers not to move as it would be dangerous.

Then, he heard a loud bang from inside the ship. Kim thought a crane on board had toppled over, he said.

When the sea water started gushing into the ferry, passengers began to scramble.

Kim managed to get on a helicopter, but he saw as many as 30 people still trapped inside the ship. Shortly after his rescue, the ship capsized.

"Unless they broke a window, I think it would have been impossible for them to come out," Kim told YTN.

My heart goes out to all caught up in this unfolding tragedy.
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