Passengers trapped inside a capsized South Korean ferry have been sending text messages to loved ones telling them they are alive but getting desperate for help, ABC News reports.
“Love you all for real,” one high school student texted to 30 members of his theatre club. “If I’ve wronged any of you, forgive me.”
The ferry carrying 475 passengers — many of them students — began sinking off South Korea’s southern coast on Tuesday for reasons not yet known. At least six people were killed and 55 were injured, according to Reuters. Nearly 300 are still unaccounted for.
Reports of text messages have been widely reported in South Korean media, as many parents have shared the messages they have received.
“I am alive, there are students alive, please save us quickly,” one father told Reuters his child texted. The father believes his child is staying alive inside an air pocket in the sunken vessel.
“Can’t see a thing, it’s totally dark,” another message from a son to a mother read, according to CNN. “We are not dead yet, so please send along this message.”
Since Wednesday, helicopters and coast guard vessels from South Korea have been working on rescue operations, but they have been hindered by mud on the ocean floor that makes the search difficult, AP reported. Even worse, many passengers followed an announcement to remain where they were inside the ferry, even after a crash was heard and it began to tilt.
“Mum,” Los Angeles Times reported another student texting his mother, “this might be my last chance to tell you I love you.” She messaged back, but did not receive a response.
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