South Korean Ferry Sinking: 6 Dead And 281 Missing After Sewol Accident, Cause Yet To Be Determined [PHOTOS]

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On Wednesday, a ferry sank off the southwest coast of South Korea on Wednesday, leaving six dead and 281 people missing and unaccounted for.

Military divers continued to work to find the missing passengers of the ferry throughout Wednesday night as other vessels aided with the search.  Yonhap News reports that 175 of the 462 people on board of the ferry were rescued after the ship capsized and sank on Wednesday off the coast of Jindo Island according to South Korean government officials.

Among the passengers on board the 6,325-ton Sewol, which is operated by Chonghaejin Marine Co., over 300 were high school students on a school trip from Ansan, a city south of Seoul, South Korea.

As the search efforts for the missing passengers of the sunken ferry continue, many fear that the missing passengers may be trapped inside capsized and sunken vessel. Adding to the fears, cold and dark waters have made rescue efforts difficult.

Four of those on board confirmed dead were identified as 22-year-old Park Ji-young, a worker for the ferry operator, Jung Cha-woong, Kwon Oh-chun and Lim Kyung-bin, students at Danwan High School in Ansan, the Korea Herald reported. The identities of the two other bodies recovered have not been released.

Over 100 Korean Navy, Coast Guard vessels and aircraft responded to the scene of the location of the sunken vessel in an effort to find the many passengers unaccounted for.

While the cause for the accident has yet to be determined, some passengers speculated that the ferry may have hit a reef before it sank, according to the Korean Herald.

However, the government emphasized that it is focusing primarily on rescue operations.

"We will try to determine the cause of the accident after rescue operations are over," Second Vice Home Affairs Minister Lee Gyeong-og said during a press briefing.

Korean Ferry Sinks - Rescue Efforts Night

Maritime police search for missing passenger as lighting flares are released for a night search, following the sinking of South Korean ferry "Sewol" at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Sinking

South Korean ferry "Sewol" is seen sinking in the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014, in this picture provided by Korea Coast Guard and released by Yonhap. Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry sank off South Korea on Wednesday, the coastguard said, in what could be the country's biggest peacetime disaster in nearly 20 years. Reuters/Korea Coast Guard/Yonhap

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Helicopter

A maritime police helicopter rescues passengers who were onboard South Korean ferry "Sewol" which capsized off Jindo April 16, 2014 Reuters/West Regional Headquarters Korea Coast Guard/News1

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Helicopter Closeup

A maritime police helicopter attempts to rescue passengers onboard South Korean ferry "Sewol" which capsized off Jindo April 16, 2014 in this picture provided by West Regional Headquarters Korea Coast Guard and released by News1. Reuters/West Regional Headquarters Korea Coast Guard/News1

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Overview

Part of the capsized South Korean ferry "Sewol" (C) is seen in the sea off Jindo, April 16, 2014, in this picture provided by South Korean Navy and released by Yonhap. Reuters/South Korean Navy/Yonhap

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Survivors

Rescued passengers wrapped in blankets, who were on a sinking ferry "Sewol" in the sea off Jindo, gather at a port in Seogeochado April 16, 2014. More than 100 people remained missing on Wednesday after a South Korean ferry with 477 people aboard capsized off the country's southwest coast, Yonhap news agency said. Reuters/Hyung Min-woo/Yonhap

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Passengers

Rescued passengers cry at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo April 16, 2014. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Mother

The mother of a passenger who was on a sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo April 16, 2014. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Board

The mother of a passenger who was on a sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son's name in the survivors list at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo April 16, 2014. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Capsizing

A passenger is rescued by South Korean maritime policemen from a sinking ship "Sewol" in the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014, in this picture provided by Korea Coast Guard and released by Yonhap. Reuters/Korea Coast Guard/Yonhap

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Police

Part of South Korean passenger ship "Sewol" that has been sinking is seen as South Korean maritime policemen search for passengers in the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. Reuters/Hyung Min-woo/Yonhap

South Korea Ferry - Coast Guard

Members of the South Korean coast guard rescue passengers from the water next to a partially sunken ferry, off South Korea's southwest coast in this still image from a video released by the South Korean coast guard April 16, 2014. Reuters/South Korean Coast Guard

South Korea Ferry - Mother Reacts

The mother of a passenger who was on a sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son's name in the survivors list at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo April 16, 2014. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Sinking Deeper

South Korean ferry "Sewol" is seen sinking at the sea off Jindo, as lighting flares are released for a night search, April 16, 2014. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Search

Maritime police search for missing passengers near the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea Ferry - Sewol Sinking Night

South Korean ferry "Sewol" is seen sinking at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea Ferry - Families

Family members of missing passengers who were on the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank in the sea off Jindo wait for a rescue team's arrival at a port where family members of missing passengers gathered in Jindo April 16, 2014. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

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