At least four people are dead and around 300 others are still missing after a ferry carrying hundreds of students sank while traveling from South Korea to a nearby resort island.

The ship was carrying a total of 459 people at the time—the vast majority of whom were high schoolers--on the organized field trip. According to reports, 164 passengers were rescued after many of them jumped into the freezing cold sea to avoid sinking on the ship. 55 reportedly sustained injuries. This is just too awful for words…

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While it's still unclear what exactly caused the ferry to capsize, survivors said they heard a loud noise prior to sinking. Rescuers, including ships, airplanes, and helicopters, reported to the scene last night, but faced particularly difficult conditions because of strong currents and lack of light. Divers working in at least 90 feet of water are still searching frantically for any of the hundreds of people still missing who may have survived.

So far only two of the victims have been identified, 22-year-old Park Ji-young, a staff worker for the ferry company, and Jung Cha-woong, a student at Danwon High School in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province. As emergency responders continue their search efforts, hundreds of parents of the missing high school students are back at the school, anxiously awaiting to hear any news of their daughters and sons. Making things even more heartbreaking? In the midst of all the confusion, school official mistakenly announced that all of the school's 338 students and teachers had been saved, but it was never confirmed and has since been proven false.

I can't even begin to imagine what all of those poor parents must be going through, not knowing if their kids are safe or even alive. Details are still forthcoming on the ordeal, so I can only pray that at least some of the missing passengers have been found and that their safe returns have yet to be reported. My heart goes out to all of the victim's loved ones and the entire school community affected by this horrific disaster.  

Image via Getty Images

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About the author

Michelle Regalado is a Staff Writer at MamásLatinas. She loves reading, travel, pop culture, and writing about anything and everything.

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