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9 dead as ship hits seawall off S Korea

16 October 2013, 11:01

Seoul - A cargo ship hit a seawall off South Korea's southeastern coast and partly sank in an accident that killed nine crew members and left two missing, coast guard officers said on Wednesday.

Eight crew members were rescued.

The ship is owned by a Chinese firm and flagged in Panama, and its crew is nearly all Chinese with one Vietnamese.

The 8 461-ton ship had anchored off the port city of Pohang but high waves forced it against the seawall on Tuesday afternoon, a coast guard statement said.

All 19 people on board were listed as missing about 14 hours after the accident as winds and waves hampered rescue efforts.

Early on Wednesday, coast guard rescuers found eight sailors either floating in the sea or waiting for help on the front of the ship. Most of the vessel has sunk, coast guard officers said.

They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorised to speak to the media on this matter. The rescued sailors were wearing life jackets, the officers said.

The coast guard also collected the dead bodies of nine crew members but two are still missing, the officers said.

China's official Xinhua News Agency said the ship, the CHENGLU15, belonged to China's Lishen International Shipping Group Corporation in Zhejiang province.

The ship had unloaded its freight and was set to leave for Japan. The coast guard officers said the ship was carrying about 130 tons of bunker oil and diesel fuel.

- AP


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