As it happened: S Korea ferry disaster

Key points

  • Several hundred people remain unaccounted for after a ferry carrying 462 people capsized and sank off South Korea
  • A major rescue effort is under way, using dozens of ships and helicopters
  • The ferry was carrying mainly school students to the southern resort island of Jeju
  • Angry parents have gathered at the school, near Seoul, to demand answers
  • All times BST

Live text


  • Helier Cheung 
  • Matthew Davis 
  • Victoria Park 
  • Lyndsey Telford 
  • Jasmine Coleman 
  • Sarah Fowler 

Last updated 16 April 2014


Welcome to our live coverage of the unfolding tragedy in South Korea where a ferry carrying hundreds of people - mainly school children - to a resort island has sunk with loss of life. Hours after the disaster at least 290 people remain missing and a major rescue effort is under way.


The ferry was travelling from the port of Incheon, in the north-west, to the southern resort island of Jeju. So far, two people are confirmed to have died and 13 others have been hurt - but there are fears those numbers will rise.



tweets: My heart n prayers go out to the people (highschool students) that are fighting for their lives . #koreanferry


A passenger ferry sinks off the coast of Jindo Island in Jindo-gun, South Korea, 16 April 2014 It is not yet clear what caused the incident - witnesses described hearing an impact before the ship listed and quickly sank.


File photo: USS Bonhomme Richard The US has sent navy ship USS Bonhomme Richard (pictured) which had been patrolling off South Korea, to the scene to help rescue efforts


Lucy Williamson, BBC News, Seoul

Parents of those on board have gathered at the school to demand answers. Some have reported heavy fog along the ferry route and asked why the trip was allowed to go ahead. South Korea's coastguard has said visibility was good in the area at the time of the accident.


The government had announced earlier that 368 people had been rescued. However, it later said there had been a counting error, and revised the number to 164. The remaining passengers are "unaccounted for," Lee Gyeong-Og, the vice minister of security and public administration, told reporters.


Dozens of ships and helicopters are being used in what has been described as a major rescue effort.


Rescue teams at the scene could be seen balanced on the hull of the sinking ship, pulling teenagers from cabin windows. Some of those on board had jumped from the vessel as it went down.