Twenty-seven people are missing after their ship was cut in half by a typhoon in the South China Sea on Saturday, the Hong Kong government's air support service said.
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The engineering vessel was 160 nautical miles southwest of Hong Kong when it was caught in Storm Chaba;
suffered significant damage and broke into two pieces
,” said the Hong Kong Government Flying Service.
Help was dispatched to the scene after being notified around 07:25 local time (23:25 GMT Friday).
Three of the 30 crew members were rescued at 3 p.m. local time and taken to hospital, authorities said.
Footage provided by Hong Kong authorities shows a person being airlifted as waves crash onto the deck of the half-submerged vessel.
According to the three survivors, other crew members may have been swept away by the waves before the arrival of the first helicopter, a statement from the Hong Kong government reported.
Typhoon Chaba formed in the central South China Sea and made landfall Saturday afternoon in southern China's Guangdong province.
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The location where the ship was located recorded winds of 144 kilometers per hour and waves reaching 10 meters high, authorities said.
Rescuers will expand the search area "
due to the large number of missing people
" and extend the operation into the night if conditions allow.