46 missing after S.Korea warship sinks near N.Korea border

SEOUL, March 27 (AFP) Almost 50 sailors were missing after a South Korean warship sank near the tense border with North Korea, the military said Saturday, but officials said there was no sign so far the North was to blame.

President Lee Myung-Bak called an emergency security meeting and ordered a swift and thorough probe into what appeared to be one of the country's worst military tragedies for decades.

In a handout picture released by the Ongjin County Office shows a South Korean Navy Pohang class Patrol Combat Corvette PCC-772 Chonan sunk (top) as a maritime police ship (bottom) patrols to rescue possible survivors near Baengnyeong island off Incheon, west of Seoul on March 27. AFP

“Fifty-eight sailors have been rescued and 46 others are missing,” a spokesman for the Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) told AFP, adding that a navy team was preparing to dive to investigate the cause of the sinking in the Yellow Sea.

The 1,200-tonne corvette sank Friday evening near Baengnyeong island after a still unexplained explosion. The craft turned turtle, with its hull protruding from the shallow but near-freezing waters.Reports said the 88-metre (290 feet) craft would have ben carrying torpedos and other weaponry.

The military said 13 of the 58 known survivors were injured but are in stable condition. Navy ships and surveillance planes were searching for more survivors.

“Rescue operations are still under way,” another JCS official said earlier Saturday. “There is no clue yet on any North Korean involvement.”Lee, who summoned an emergency security meeting immediately after the tragedy, called another session Saturday.

He ordered a “thorough and swift probe” into the cause of the sinking, “keeping all windows of possibility open,” a spokeswoman said.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other International Articles
Big powers in G20 under scrutiny by smaller nations
Blair strikes Oil in Iraq
The spreading Somali pirate threat
The service revolution: Lessons in India’s growth
Last Supper is growing by Biblical proportions
Pinkie finger triggers rethink of human odyssey
Quarter of Republicans think Obama may be the Anti-Christ
Dung beetle is world's strongest insect: Study
Allawi to start coalition talks after slim win over Iraq PM
US, Russia finalize landmark nuclear arms treaty
46 missing after S.Korea warship sinks near N.Korea border
'24' hours ticks down final season
Myanmar to hold polls in October or November: official
Vatican dismisses fresh New York Times allegation
Arab leaders gather in Libya for 'Jerusalem' summit
TB: a killer that can't be kept behind bars
In South Africa, whites are becoming squatters
India’s obsession with white is big business
Disputed island 'disappears'
'God particle' hunt set to start


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2010 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution