December 27th, 2007 04:14 EST
South Korea's Navy and Coast Guard are searching for 14 missing
South Korea's Navy and Coast Guard are searching for 14 missing sailors after a freighter sank on Tuesday off the South Korean coast, the Yonhap news agency said.
The Taiwan-bound vessel, Eastern Bright, with a crew of 15 - 12 Koreans and three Myanmarese - left the South Korean port city of Yeosu late Monday carrying toxic chemicals. Early on Tuesday it sent a distress call and disappeared from radar screens.
The search for the vessel and crew is being hampered by high waves. One Myanmarese sailor was found unconscious following a five hour intensive search.
Local environmentalists have raised concerns regarding the cargo as the freighter was carrying over 2,000 tons of nitric acid.
"There seems to be no fear of water pollution around the coast," the agency quotes a maritime police officer as saying.
On December 7, South Korea has experienced its largest oil spill after about 80,000 barrels of crude oil leaked into the Yellow Sea.
Source: Russia News Room