An industrial ship has snapped in two and sunk in the South China Sea, authorities in Hong Kong said Saturday.

Three crew members have been rescued, but the fate of 27 others is still unclear.

The terrifying incident took place about 186 miles south of Hong Kong. It happened as tropical storm Chaba passed through the area, bringing wind speeds of up to 89 mph and waves as high as 33 feet.

The storm made landfall later on Saturday near Zhanjiang in China’s Guangdong province.

Rescue crew in helicopters and planes were dispatched to the area Saturday afternoon.

Dramatic footage released by the Hong Kong Government Flying Service and shared by the South China Morning Post shows one crew member being airlifted onto a helicopter, as waves crash over the deck of the semi-submerged ship, which eventually sinks.

Authorities sent two fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters for the search and rescue operation.

The three rescued crew members told the Hong Kong rescue team that their crewmates might have been swept away, as they could only hold on to the ship’s railings.

The search-and-rescue operation will continue into the night, officials said.

Hong Kong officials didn’t provide the name or origin of the vessel.

With News Wire Services

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