S. Korea ferry runs aground, all 109 rescued

S. Korea ferry runs aground, all 109 rescued
The area where the vessel ran aground was around 70 kilometres west of the site where the Sewol ferry capsized on April 16 near Jindo island, pictured here.

SEOUL - South Korea's coastguard rescued all 109 passengers and crew from a ferry that ran aground Tuesday, not far from the site of April's Sewol ferry tragedy that claimed more than 300 lives.

The ferry, on a sightseeing trip around the island of Hongdo off the southwestern coast, ran aground shortly after 9:00am (0000 GMT), coastguard spokesman Oh Eun-Seok told AFP.

"The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but all 109 passengers including five crew members were rescued without any reported injuries," Oh said.

The area where the vessel ran aground was around 70 kilometres west of the site where the Sewol ferry capsized on April 16 near Jindo island.

The 6,825 tonne Sewol was carrying 476 people when it sank, including 325 students from the same high school.

The national coastguard was widely criticised for its initial response to the disaster, and the Sewol captain and members of his crew are currently on trial on charges ranging from manslaughter to violations of maritime law.

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