Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Search continues for 17 still missing in ferry disaster

Divers resumed their search Tuesday for the 17 people still missing in the sunken ferry Sewol but no additional bodies were found in the morning, officials said.

An increasing number of the vessel's walls have weakened in part due to the ongoing recovery efforts, hampering search operations in parts of the hull. The erosion has been especially serious in the front part of the fifth deck where hallways to some of the crew's cabins and VIP rooms are located, officials said.

Divers planned to enter those hallways and other areas by moving aside obstacles floating inside the vessel. If all else fails, a part of the hull may be removed using a crane and other underwater equipment in order to allow access to inner parts of the ship, according to the officials.

Tuesday's search is expected to focus on a kitchen on the third deck and the front part of the fourth and fifth decks. There could be progress in the operations if currents slow down as expected on the second day of a period of weaker currents, officials said.

One more body was recovered on Monday, raising the death toll to 287 and lowering the number of those missing to 17.

The woman's body was found near the kitchen on the third deck, wearing a blue long-sleeved hooded shirt and khaki sweatpants, officials said.

Rescue workers also planned to attach more wires to a new barge mobilized in the recovery efforts to fasten it tightly to its anchor chains.

Operations were suspended for hours on Monday after a wire connecting an anchor chain to a barge was found to be damaged.

The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol sank off the southwestern island of Jindo on April 16, carrying an estimated 476 people Most of those dead or missing were students from a high school near Seoul on a field trip to the southern resort island of Jeju.

The ferry, which departed from Incheon, west of Seoul, sank about two hours away from the resort island.

Tuesday 20 May 2014



Post a Comment