On Wednesday April 16th, the MS Sewol, a South Korean ferry was capsized on its way to Jeju Island. This ship was carrying 476 people, many of whom were students from Danwon High School (Ansan City), who were travelling from Incheon to Jeju Island for their holiday trip.
Although the cause of the accident is still unclear, the prosecutor on the case has informed reporters that the third mate was steering the ship on the morning of the accident, one who has had merely six months of experience and had never steered in the area before. It appears that the vessel made an unusually sharp turn that may have caused it to tilt. The tilting of the 6,825-ton vessel in dangerous water conditions occurred rapidly which in turn did not allow the passengers on board to evacuate in time. However, prosecutors are continuing to search for other causes that may have caused the ferry to sink.
Currently, three vessels with cranes are at the accident site to prepare to salvage the ferry, but they will not hoist the ship before getting approval from family members of those still believed inside. The lifting could endanger any possible survivors believed to be on-board and result in further casualties.
As of right now, 174 people have been rescued, the death toll has reached 59, and 243 people are still missing.
In the meantime let us all keep South Korea in our thoughts.