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An overnight ferry, carrying mostly high school students from the South Korean town of Ansan, sunk yesterday morning en route to the holiday island of Jeju. While the hows and whys are still being figured out, we do know that the ferry was almost completely submerged within a few hours.

According to government officials, 30 crew-members, 325 high school students, 15 school teachers and 89 non-student passengers were aboard the ship at the time it went down, just before 9am local time.

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Reuters is reporting that several survivors were said to have heard a “loud impact” before the ship started rocking and turning on its side. A 57-year-old survivor, identified only by his last name of Yoo, reportedly said, “There was a bang and then the ship suddenly tilted over. Downstairs were restaurants, shops and entertainment rooms, and those who were there are feared to have failed to escape.”

Parents and family members are distraught, searching for any information available on the missing passengers. According to USA Today, students were sent home from Ansan Danwon High School, and parents gathered for news about the ferry.

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As of 7 p.m. ET last night, 174 people had been rescued and 284 were still unaccounted for.

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