Seoul: A search operation for seven South Korean citizens is underway on Friday as a helicopter carrying them crashed off the coast of the disputed Liancourt Rocks archipelago in the Sea of Japan, media reported, citing South Korean fire authorities.
The Yonhap news agency reported, citing the authorities, that the helicopter took off from the islets, also known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan and claimed by both countries, at 11:26 p.m. (14:26 GMT) on Thursday.
The chopper was carrying five rescue workers, an injured person and their friend.
"Search operations were underway overnight, but there weren't many developments. Since the tides have weakened and the sun has risen, we will expand the search with divers joining the rescue," a local official said, as quoted by the outlet.
Dozens of vessels and helicopters have been dispatched to the area.
According to the reports, the authorities planned to further expand the search and engage12 deep-water divers in the operation.