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Canada, U.K. extend condolences over sunken S. Korean ferry

2014/04/18 09:53

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- Canada expressed condolences to South Korea over the deadly sinking of a ferry, which killed dozens of passengers and left more than 200 missing, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird extended his condolences during a phone conversation with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se a day earlier, the ministry said. Baird also offered to provide assistance over the maritime accident, it said.

The British government also expressed condolences over the maritime accident, offering to provide every assistance.

A statement issued by First Secretary of State William Hague said the British government's condolence goes out to the families of the missing passengers as well as the South Korean government and its people.

The 6,325-ton ferry Sewol capsized Wednesday morning en route to the southern resort island of Jeju from the western port of Incheon. There were reportedly 475 passengers on board, mostly high-school students.

A total of 25 passengers have been confirmed dead, with 179 others rescued. But the fate of the remaining 271 passengers, mostly students from a high school in Ansan, just south of Seoul, remains unknown.

Rescue operations are under way for the third day, but strong underwater currents and low visibility are making it difficult to speed up the rescue efforts.