Friday, July 13, 2007

Korean Ship Sinks Off Oman

The South Korean cargo ship, ``Orchid Sun,'' has sunk in waters off Oman, leaving 11 crew members missing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Thursday. The missing sailors are four Koreans and seven Philipinos. The Koreans are Lee Byeong-hwa, 54, Jon Sang-ik, 38, Hyun Gwan-soo, 36 and Choi Keyu-in, 24. ``The South Korean government is still open to the possibility that these missing crewmen will be rescued soon,'' a foreign ministry official said.
Orchid Sun
The accident occurred around 8:30 a.m. (KST) in waters about 150 kilometers east of Oman. The 26,000-ton ship was sailing to Iraq from China carrying 42,000 tons of iron products, and sank after its hold began rapidly taking in water, ministry officials said. Twenty-three people were aboard the ship _ eight South Koreans, 13 Filipinos and two Chileans _ but only 12 were rescued by nearby ships and rescue helicopters sent from Oman, while the others were listed as missing, according to the officials. The crew evacuated the ship right after sending out an SOS, they said. A joint search-and-rescue effort involving Oman and Pakistan, and a U.S. navy vessel is currently under way.

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