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At least three dead as South Korea ferry sinks

Seoul, South Korea (AP) -- Officials in South Korea said nearly 300 people are still missing several hours after a ferry sank in the cold waters off the country's southern coast Wednesday.

At least three people have been confirmed dead, but there are fears of a much bigger death toll as dozens of boats, helicopters and divers continue to search for survivors.

One passenger said he believes many people were trapped inside when the ferry sank. The boat sent out a distress call Wednesday morning when it began leaning to one side.

The Ministry of Security and Public Administration said about 95 percent of the ferry was submerged.

Most of the 459 people on board were high school students on a school trip. One student told broadcaster YTN that he and other students jumped into the ocean wearing life jackets and then swam to a rescue boat nearby.

 
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