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Ferry runs aground off South Korea coast with 477 aboard

Updated: 
April 16, 2014 - 8:37am

SEOUL, South Korea — Dozens of ships and aircraft were involved in rescue efforts for 477 people aboard a ferry that ran aground and was sinking off the coast of South Korea Wednesday, reports said.

Yonhap news agency said one person had died. It cited Coast Guard officials saying the passengers were being taken off the wrecked ship that had listed to one side and was taking on water about 12 miles from the southern coast.

The passengers were mostly secondary school students on a field trip to Jeju island when the vessel sent a distress signal about 9 a.m., the news agency said.

President Park Geun-hye ordered all available vessels be mobilized in the rescue effort to prevent any loss of life.

The Navy sent 22 vessels and a helicopter along with special forces including divers to rescue passengers that had jumped from the ship.

The Air Force and Army had each dispatched planes and helicopters to join the effort led by the Coast Guard.