Rescuers fought rising winds and waves on Thursday as they searched for hundreds of people, mostly teenage schoolchildren, still missing after a South Korean ferry capsized more than 24 hours ago.
Coastguard and navy divers were diving into the waters at the site of the accident, about 20 km (12 miles) off the country's southwestern coast. Earlier, rescue teams hammered on the hull of the upturned vessel, hoping for a response from anyone trapped inside, but did not hear anything, media reports said.
The vessel, carrying 475 passengers and crew, capsized on Wednesday during a short journey from the port of Incheon to the holiday island of Jeju. Nine people were found dead and 179 had been rescued, according to the South Korean government, leaving 287 unaccounted for and possibly still trapped in the vessel.
Grieving parents accused rescue teams of being slow to react and for lack of information, although government officials said that search efforts had continued through the night.
"I am really angry with the government," said Kwak Hyun-ok, whose daughter who was one of 340 children and teachers from one school on the vessel.
"There is no meaning to life without my daughter," Kwak told Reuters.