UPDATE: 25 now confirmed dead in South Korea ferry disaster - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: 25 now confirmed dead in South Korea ferry disaster

Posted: Updated:
MOKPO, South Korea (WKOW) -- The confirmed death toll in Wednesday's sinking off the southern coast of South Korea is now at 25. 

Divers are working in shifts to try to get into the sunken ferry, but strong currents are not allowing them to enter. The coast guard says three vessels with cranes are being brought in to help with the rescue and salvage mission. 

Officials say there are about 270 people still missing, while there 179 known survivors.

*****

MOKPO, South Korea (WKOW) -- The number of confirmed deaths after a ferry sunk in South Korea has reached 20. There are still more than 270 people unaccounted for.

A coast guard official in South Korea says investigators are looking into whether the captain of the sunken ferry got on the first rescue boat at the scene. The captain was among the crew members who survived the sinking, which may have killed nearly 300 people.
  
A crew member says as the ship started to list, there was no immediate order for passengers to evacuate, because officers were still trying to stabilize the vessel.

Video that was shot by a survivor shows the vessel listing severely as people in life jackets cling to the side of the ship. A loudspeaker announcement can be heard telling passengers to stay in their quarters.

The search for people who were on board the ferry has been hampered today by strong, dangerous currents, as well as rain and bad visibility. But officials say divers will keep trying to enter the ship.

*****

JINDO, South Korea (WKOW) -- The captain of the sunken South Korean ferry is apologizing to the families for the tragic accident.

When a reporter asked him if he had any words for the family members of the missing people, mostly students, Captain Joon Suk Lee replied, "I am sorry. I am at a loss for words."

The ferry went down off the coast of South Korea Wednesday.  As of Thursday morning, nine people have been confirmed dead and nearly 300 are missing.

The captain faces possible charges of negligence and accidental homicide.  He had told passengers to put on their life jackets and stay put.  Thirty minutes later, he ordered an evacuation.

It is still unknown why the ferry sank.

Some family members heard from their missing loved ones through text messages.

One student wrote to his brother saying: "I'm on my way to Jeju Island, but the ship hit something and is not moving."  The brother replied with "Is it bad?" The student told him, "I'm inside, so I don't know." The last text message exchange was the brother telling the other one "Don't panic."

Another passenger texted his mother. He wrote: "Mom, I might not be able to tell you in person... I love you." She texted back, "Me too, son. I love you."

One mother, Christine Kim, says that her daughter told her that she didn't want to go on the trip because she had been on it before, but Christine Kim told her it would be another good experience.  Kim says she is very regretful.

More than 400 rescuers search nearby waters. Divers are working in shifts to attempt to get inside the ferry, but strong currents are preventing them from doing so effectively. Coast guard spokesperson Kim Jae-in says within the next couple of days, vessels will arrive to help with the rescue and salvage the ship.
  • MORE LOCAL NEWS&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp <a href="/Global/category.asp?C=135516&nav=menu1362_2_5"> more >></a>MORE LOCAL NEWSMore>>

  • Sun Prairie man arrested for 6th OWI

    Sun Prairie man arrested for 6th OWI

    A Dane County deputy arrested a man Tuesday night for his sixth offense of operating while intoxicated.More >>
    A Dane County deputy arrested a man Tuesday night for his sixth offense of operating while intoxicated.More >>
  • New app available for Wisconsin State Fair

    New app available for Wisconsin State Fair

    MADISON (WKOW) --The state fair is just two days away. Crews are working on putting the finishing touches to state fair park in West Allis.More >>
    MADISON (WKOW) --The state fair is just two days away. Crews are working on putting the finishing touches to state fair park in West Allis.More >>
  • Body found in Lake Mills identified

    Body found in Lake Mills identified

    LAKE MILLS (WKOW) -- Lake Mills police were dispatched to Bartel's Beach on S. Ferry Drive Sunday evening where a the body of a male was found in Mill Pond. Authorities say that man is 18-year-old Devin Droster.Captain Mick Selck asks anyone with information regarding this incident to call him at 920-648-2354.More >>
    LAKE MILLS (WKOW) -- Lake Mills police were dispatched to Bartel's Beach on S. Ferry Drive Sunday evening where a the body of a male was found in Mill Pond. Authorities say that man is 18-year-old Devin Droster.Captain Mick Selck asks anyone with information regarding this incident to call him at 920-648-2354.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WKOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Anna Engelhart at 608-661-2767. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.