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8 rescued after ship sinks off ROK coast

Updated: 2013-10-16 21:40
( Xinhua)

8 rescued after ship sinks off ROK coast

Photo released by the Republic of Korea's cost guard shows rescuers searching for two missing people after a Panamanian-registered cargo ship carrying 19 people sank in ROK's southeast Pohang harbor, Oct 16, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - Eight crew members have been rescued after a cargo ship with 18 Chinese nationals and a Vietnamese aboard sank Tuesday off the coast of the Republic of Korea, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said here Wednesday.

Rescuers also recovered nine bodies and are stilling searching for the two missing crew members, Hua Chunying told a routine press conference.

The Panamanian-registered cargo ship capsized off the coast of Pohang amid a storm at around 9:30 pm local time on Tuesday.

The spokeswoman said Chinese consulate officials have rushed to Pohang harbor to investigate the situation and urged the ROK side to do its utmost to rescue the crew. Consulate officials have also visited local medical institutions where the survivors are hospitalized.

The ROK side has sent out sea vessels, aircraft and a large number of rescuers, she said.

"The Chinese Foreign Ministry places great importance in this matter," Hua said, adding that the Chinese Consulate General in Busan has kicked off an emergency mechanism to deal with the accident.

She said the Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassies in the ROK will continue to follow the development of the accident and coordinate search, rescue and medical aid efforts as well as deal with other issues related to the victims.

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