Updated: 03/09/2013 12:34 | By Agence France-Presse

Nine dead in S. Korea fishing-boat blaze

Nine people died after jumping off a fishing boat that caught fire off South Korea's west coast, with efforts under way to rescue one missing crew member, a report said.

Nine dead in S. Korea fishing-boat blaze

Nine dead in S. Korea fishing-boat blaze

The 20-ton vessel caught fire early Saturday off the port city of Gunsan, forcing 11 crew to plunge into freezing sea waters to avoid flames and smoke, Yonhap news agency said, citing local police.

Ten crew were plucked from the water by rescuers but nine of them were pronounced dead later.

"It seems that many of the people jumping into the sea died because of hypothermia caused by excessively low water temperature," a police officer was quoted as saying by Yonhap.

Police were investigating the exact cause of the fire, with efforts under way to hunt for one missing crew member, Yonhap said.

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