16 Jan 2012

Deadly blast on South Korean ship

4:54 am on 16 January 2012

A South Korean cargo ship has sunk after an explosion on board, killing at least three crew members.

The coast guard says eight people are still missing and five others have been rescued in the incident north of Jawol island, near the port of Incheon.

The BBC reports the blast happened in the morning after the ship had unloaded oil products.

The cause is being investigated, but officials say it is unlikely to be the result of an attack by North Korea.

The ship's owners said that the explosion could have been caused by gases leaking from the ship's oil tanks.