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S. KOREA FERRY DISASTER: 2 Chinese nationals among missing
Publication Date : 18-04-2014
Two Chinese nationals were confirmed to be among the hundreds of passengers unaccounted for on Thursday as rescue efforts continued to hunt for survivors after a ferry sank off the southwest coast of South Korea on Wednesday.
At least 20 dead were confirmed dead, and more than 270 are still missing.
The ferry was carrying 475 people, including 325 students and 15 teachers from Danwon High School in Ansan, a Seoul suburb, which, according to the Chinese embassy in Seoul, has a large Chinese population.
China Central Television said the missing Chinese citizens, a 39-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman, are a married couple.
Chinese authorities were seeking immediate clarification from South Korea concerning passengers still unaccounted for.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry asked South Korea on Thursday to check the information of missing Chinese citizens and find them as soon as possible.
A Chinese woman, who claimed to be a relative of the two missing Chinese, said in South Korea that she was certain her sister and brother-in-law were on board.
The missing Chinese, from the Korean ethnic group in Jilin province, were working in South Korea, Chinese media quoted the relative as saying.
She also showed pictures on her cellphone that she said were taken by the couple from the ferry. She said she received the pictures about 90 minutes before the accident.
According to the female relative, the two chose the ferry because they wanted to have a driving holiday in the southern resort island of Jeju, the ferry's destination.
President Xi Jinping said in a condolence message to South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Thursday that he was deeply saddened by the accident that caused many deaths, most of them students.
Xi said he paid close attention to the accident and said China would provide support where needed.
Premier Li Keqiang called South Korean Premier Chung Hong-won about the accident.