7 dead as giant wave hits South Korea

Sunday, May 4th 2008, 8:44 am
By: News 9

SEOUL, South Korea -- At least seven people were killed and 14 others injured Sunday after being swept away by a sudden large wave that crashed onto a bulwark, South Korea's Coast Guard said.

The wave -- believed to have been as high as 5 meters (16 feet) -- crashed over the bulwark where dozens of people were fishing and enjoying sightseeing, said Lee Won-il, a local Coast Guard officer.

Lee earlier said at least eight people were killed but later revised the death toll to seven, saying there had been confusion over a name.

Fifteen people were earlier believed to be missing, but the number could turn out to be lower, Lee said.

Two of the injured were in critical condition, he said.

Nine Coast Guard boats and one helicopter, aided by four fishing vessels, were searching for the missing but had yet to find anyone, Lee said.

The Coast Guard expected to continue the search until late Sunday, he said.

(Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The wave was believed to have been caused by regular tidal rises and falls in the Yellow Sea but its exact cause was not known, he said.

The dead included two children aged 9 and 5, Lee said.