SEOUL, South Korea -- Officials in South Korea say nearly 300 people are still missing several hours after a ferry sank in the cold waters off the country's southern coast.
At least two people are confirmed dead, but there are fears of a much bigger death toll as dozens of boats, helicopters and divers continue to search for survivors.
One passenger says he believes that many people were trapped inside when the ferry sank. The boat sent out a distress call Wednesday morning when it began leaning to one side.
The Ministry of Security and Public Administration says about 95 percent of the ferry is now submerged.
Most of the 459 people on board were high school students on a school trip. On student tells broadcaster YTN that he and other students jumped into the ocean wearing life jackets and then swam to a rescue boat nearby.