14 missing after ship sinks off South Korea

Fourteen seamen are missing after a chemical carrier sank before dawn Tuesday in rough seas off South Korea's south coast, the Coast Guard said.

14 missing after ship sinks off South Korea
The Eastern Bright sank off the port city of Yeosu after sending an emergency distress call at around 4:20 am (1920 GMT Monday), it said.

A Myanmarese seaman was rescued about five hours afterwards but 12 Koreans and two Myanmarese remain unaccounted for, a Coast Guard spokesman told AFP. The rescued sailor was being taken unconscious to hospital.

Nine Coast Guard ships and one helicopter had been mobilised to search for survivors. Waves were three to four metres (10-13 feet) high.

The freighter left Yeosu on Monday night and was bound for Taiwan, carrying 2,000 tons of nitric acid for a South Korea-based logistics company.

"There seems to be no fear of water pollution around the coast as nitric acid is highly volatile," a Coast Guard officer told Yonhap news agency.

Earlier this month South Korea suffered its worst-ever oil spill when a tanker leaked 10,500 tons of crude off the west coast after being holed by a drifting barge.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Aralık 2007, 17:03