A Panamanian-registered cargo ship carrying 19 people sank in South Korea’s southeast Pohang harbor amid a storm at around 21:30 local time on 15 October, leaving 9 people dead and two missing, according to the Chinese Consulate General in Busan.
An official from the Chinese Consulate General confirmed that among the 19 people aboard, 18 were Chinese citizens and the remaining one was Vietnamese, Xinhua reports.
Eight people have been rescued and 9 bodies recovered by far, while two people are still missing, according to the South Korea’s coast guard who conducts the rescue operation as saying.
Officials from Chinese Consulate General in Busan have visited the eight survivors sent to a local hospital, saying all of them suffered only tiny superficial wounds and are in stable condition.
South Korea’s coast guard said the ship CHENGLU15 set off from Pyeongtaek Port of South Korea’s west coast on Oct. 2 and arrived at Pohang two days later to unload the cargo. It was planning to leave for Japan after unloading all the cargo, but decided to stay considering the bad weather.
At around 15:15 local time on Tuesday, the ship crew called local police, reporting that the ship ran into the seawall as its anchor was swept away by the storm. But South Korean coast guard was only able to get close to the ship until 17:00 since strong wind and waves hampered the rescue operation.
The ship sank after six hours in Yingri Harbor of Pohang.
A Panamanian-registered cargo ship is seen in surging waves near Pohang harbor, South Korea, Oct. 15, 2013. (Image Credit: Xinhua)