(SEOUL, South Korea) — Nearly 300 people are missing after a ferry carrying 462 passengers, many of them students, sank in cold waters off South Korea’s southern coast Wednesday.
So far, four deaths have been reported with 164 people having been rescued. A female crew member and a male student are among the fatalities.
The ferry, identified as the Sewol, was sailing from the port of Incheon in the northwest to the southern island of Jeju when it sent a distress call as it began leaning to one side.
Coast Guard crews tried to break into the ferry, searching for anyone left behind, but they have been unable to do so since the vessel has sunk more than 100 feet below the water’s surface.
The reason for the crash is still unknown, but officials are looking into the possibility that it may have hit a reef.
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Chris Williams and Jason Hanna, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Arwa Damon, Waffa Munayyer and Bryony Jones, CNN