The Search for Sewol Ferry Victims Enters 2nd Week

As the search operation for the missing passengers of the sunken Sewol ferry is entering its second week, divers are now recovering more and more bodies from the submerged hull of the ferry.

Out of around 476 people on board, most of them students from Danwon High School in Ansan, 174 survived the tragedy, and 156 have been confirmed dead, with over 140 people still missing as of noon (local time) on Wednesday.

Divers today managed to enter the ship’s cafeteria, where they expected to find many of the passengers, but none was found. Most of the grim discoveries were made near the student cabins on the 3rd and 4th levels. Also, divers today discovered that there are no air pockets inside the sunken vessel.

As the public pressure to determine the cause of the tragedy rises, the South Korean authorities have arrested four more crew members bringing the total number of detainees to 11.

Companies associated with Incheon-based Chonghaejin Marine Company, which owned the 6,825-tonne Sewol, have also been raided by police as part of the investigation, reported BBC.

Around 550 South Korean Coast Guard, Navy and civilian divers are continuing with the search, but the latest discoveries could switch this rescue mission to a recovery operation.

World Maritime News Staff, April 23, 2014

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