Evacuation Order Delayed For South Korean Ferry

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MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - A crew member of the South Korea ferry that sank says an evacuation order was not issued immediately because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to lean.

The first instructions from the captain were for the passengers to put on life jackets and stay put, and an evacuation was not ordered until 30 minutes later.

The crew member isn't sure whether that order was ever relayed to the passengers on the public address system.

Nearly 300 of the 475 people on board are still missing and nine people have been confirmed dead.

Most of the passengers were high school students.