Nine confirmed dead as rescue attempts continue for sinking South Korean ferry


Rescue teams continued searching for missing passengers Thursday aboard a capsized ferry off the coast of South Korea. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Rescuers continued search attempts Thursday for hundreds of missing passengers from a capsized ferry sinking 12 miles off the coast of South Korea.

Nine passengers have been confirmed dead, the South Korean government claims, with 179 rescued thus far. Rescue teams battling murky, cold waters, rain, fog and powerful waves attempted to draw responses from passengers that could still be trapped on the ship by hammering on the hull, but received no answer.

The ferry’s captain, Lee Joon-seok, is under investigation and faces potential criminal charges after abandoning the ship via lifeboat 32 minutes after reporting an accident.

The ferry sank Wednesday carrying 475 passengers, a majority of them high school students.

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