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An immediate evacuation order was not issued for the ferry that sank off South Korea's southern coast, likely with scores of people trapped inside, because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to list amid confusion and chaos, a crew member said Thursday.
The first instructions from the captain were for the passengers to put on life jackets and stay put, and it was not until about 30 minutes later that he ordered an evacuation, Oh Yong-seok, a 58-year-old crew member, told The Associated Press. But Oh said he wasn't sure if the captain's order, given to crew members, was actually relayed to passengers on the public address system. Several survivors also told the AP that they never heard any evacuation order.
The loss of that precious time may have deprived many passengers of the opportunity to escape as The Sewol sank on Wednesday, not too far from the southern city of Mokpo. Nine people, including five students and two teachers, were confirmed dead, but the toll was expected to jump amid fears that the missing 287 passengers — many high school students — were dead. - AP
As international talks get underway in Geneva, tensions in eastern Ukraine flare as three pro-Russia militants were killed at a Ukrainian base. - AP
The Dow Jones opened at 16,424.85 after finishing up 162.29 points Wednesday.
Quote of the day
"Scientists now believe that Jesus Christ had a wife. They also believe that Jesus' nephew called Jesus' wife the 'Auntie Christ.'" - Conan O'Brien
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