26 Indonesian sailors feared dead: officials
Twenty six Indonesian sailors are feared dead after their Panamanian freighter hit rough seas off Taiwan's north coast, officials said late Wednesday.
Television images showed coast guards plucking one surviving sailor from the sea, but transport ministry official Ho Wen-chih said he feared the others were dead.
"I'm afraid the other people are dead. After all, the chance of surviving (in) such bad weather for a whole day is really low," Ho told AFP.
Taiwan's coast guards launched a major sea and air search Tuesday after they received distress signals from the Mezzanine, Ho said.
The surviving sailor told rescuers the ship was submerged barely five minutes after tonnes of water gushed into the cabin of the ship, loaded with iron ore from Indonesia.