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Latest on ferry sinking off Korea's southwestern coast; 9 confirmed dead, 287 missing Updated: 2014-04-17 15:15:10 KST

Latest on ferry sinking off Korea's southwestern coast; 9 confirmed dead, 287 missing
We continue our special coverage on the ferry that has capsized off Korea's southwestern coast
A major rescue operation continues on this Thursday afternoon, more than 24 hours after a Korean passenger ferry carrying 4-hundred-75 people listed and started to sink.
NINE people have now been confirmed dead, while 2-hundred-87 others remain unaccounted for.

Most on board the Sewol ferry were teenagers, high school students heading to Korea's southern Jeju Island for a field trip.
Let's go straight to Connie Kim who's standing by at an emergency management center that's been **set up to deal with this tragic incident.
Connie what's the latest?

Yes, unfortunately we don't have any news over the number of survivors.
The confirmed death toll currently stands at NINE, five of them being high school students.
The ministry of security and public administration has also confirmed that FIVE FOREIGNERS were on board.
Two Filipinos, both in their forties are confirmed to have been rescued.
The whereabouts of the three other foreign passengers are unknown, including an 18-year-old Russian student and two Chinese nationals of Korean descent in their thirties.
According to a press briefing led by the securities minister this morning, 179 people have so far been rescued from the ferry.
A hundred-and-one of them are currently being treated in eight different hospitals, five are in critical condition.
Now, there were conflicting numbers yesterday about the total number of people on board the ship when it went down.
That number has now been fixed at 475.

A lot of confusion here but one thing is for sure the whole nation wants everyone found safe and sound the search-and-**rescue efforts do continue. This is a massive operation. Tell us JUST how large it is.

An official from the Coast Guard has recently announced that more than 500 rescue divers are on the scene, along with 103 ships and 29 aircraft all actively searching for survivors.
A cooperative search is being led by the Korean Navy and the Coast Guard, but they are battling difficult conditions.
However, the official says rain, fast tidal currents, and strong winds are hampering efforts.
This afternoon, three divers were swept away by the strong currents and went missing, but they have since been rescued safely.
Because of the harsh conditions, diving operations were suspended at 1 this afternoon, just about 3 hours ago.
To right the ship, now on its side, there are three cranes currently on their way to Jindo.
All three are expected to arrive by tomorrow.
They'll work in tandem to lift the 68-hundred-ton ferry out of the water.

And we're all waiting anxiously for updates **from the government. We hear President Park has made her way to the area.

That's right.
President Park Geun-hye visited the site of the search and rescue operation off the coast of Korea's southwestern Jindo this Thursday afternoon.
She inspected the area, and was briefed on the ongoing rescue efforts carried out by the military and coast guard.
The president urged them to mobilize all their manpower and equipment to rescue as many of the missing as possible.

We will of course continue to monitor the developments in the search-and-rescue efforts, while continuing to hope for the very best in this very difficult time.
Connie Kim, reporting live from the emergency disaster center in Seoul.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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