Friday, 25 April 2014

South korea ferry disaster: Confirmed death toll at 183 with 119 still missing

Latest search operations for the sunken ferry have been focused on its third- and fourth-deck cabins, where most of the missing victims are believed to be trapped.

Working during the last remaining critical hours of favorable weather conditions, Coast Guard, Navy and civilian rescue workers and divers recovered more than 20 bodies overnight.

In waters off Korea's southwestern coast where the accident happened search operations are now into a tenth day.

Not a single survivor has been found since the ferry capsized last Wednesday morning but efforts continue, with authorities having decided to use a "diving bell" at the site for the first time later this afternoon.

Divers also say there were no air pockets inside the sunken ferry reducing the chance of possible survivors after the ship submerged completely underwater.

The rescue operation continues although currents in the area are forecast to get stronger again from today.

Three more female bodies most likely Danwon High school students were recovered from early this morning -- and the death toll now well exceeds the number of survivors standing at 183 with 119 still missing.

The divers will continue their search on the third floor where the cafeteria isand on the fourth level of the ship where the cabins of most Danwon High School students were located -- focusing on the center of the deck.

Authorities will also deploy a diving bell in an hour from now - a chamber that could be used as a base and transportation of divers underwater to beef up the number of divers that can engage in search operation.

Five cranes are on stand-by, but no one assumes the lifting will take place any time soon.

But the search will continue as parents of the missing have requested the ferry not be lifted out of water until every body is recovered.

the all-out search efforts came after the exhausted and angry parents of the missing Danwon High School students made their doubts about the ongoing operation known to authorities here.

They sat down with the oceans minister and the coast guard commissioner from 5 p.m. Thursday evening questioning them for hours about whether enough was and is being done.

The parents want more diving distance lines to be installed on the fourth deck of the sunken ferry where most students are expected to be and they are demanding more civilian divers be brought into the operation.

Parents want them back in the water as they think there are not enough divers out there to recover the bodies of their children.

Several parents will also be out on the waters on the barge where divers engage in search operation.

The maritime minister and coast guard chief will stay on site to direct the operations and assist the familiesas the parents requested until the last student is brought back on shore.

Friday 25 April 2014


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