South Korea ferry sinking with 450 on board
A ferry with about 450 people on board is sinking off the south-west coast of South Korea, coastguard officials say.
Most of the passengers are secondary school students on their way from Incheon to the southern resort island of Jeju, officials added.
Coastguard and naval vessels and helicopters have gone to the scene.
Many passengers have already been lifted off and TV reports say remaining passengers have been told to jump into the sea to await rescue.
Images from the scene show the ferry listing at a severe angle.
Earlier reports put the number of passengers at about 350.
"The ship is taking in water and sinking," a coastguard spokesman told AFP news agency by phone.
"There are around 450 people on board and we have coastguard vessels, commercial ships in the area, as well as helicopters all engaged in the rescue operation," the spokesman said.
One passenger told the YTN news channel: "We heard a big thumping sound and the boat stopped.
"The boat is tilting and we have to hold on to something to stay seated," the passenger said.
Rescue agency officials are quoted as saying that at least 130 passengers have already been taken off the stricken ferry.
News agencies said the ferry had sent out a distress signal about 20km (12 miles) off the island of Byungpoong at about 09:00 local time (00:00 GMT).