Body recovery from sunken South Korean ferry suspended, toll 187
Jindo (South Korea): Concerns are growing among anguished families that the bodies of those who died in the sinking of a South Korean ferry may never be found, as search teams suspended work on Saturday because of bad weather.
The confirmed death toll today stood at 187, with 115 unaccounted for -- many bodies are believed trapped in the ferry that capsized on April 16 with 476 people on board.
A looming storm and high tides put a temporary halt to operations to recover the remains of more than 100 people still missing over a week after the huge ferry capsized.
"Over the weekend, strong wind and rain is expected in the Jindo area", a coastguard spokesman told journalists.
"As efforts to find the missing people are becoming protracted, there are growing concerns among their families that bodies might be lost for good", he said.
Making up the bulk of the passengers on the 6,825 tonne Sewol when it sank were 325 high school students -- around 250 of whom are either confirmed or presumed dead.
Although all hope of finding survivors has been lost, there is still anger and deep frustration among relatives of the missing over the pace of the recovery operation.
Frogmen have battled strong currents, poor visibility and blockages caused by floating furniture as they have tried to get inside the upturned vessel, which rests on a silty seabed.
The challenging conditions have meant divers are unable to spend more than a few minutes in the ship each time they go down.
Even so, they are coming across horrifying scenes in the murky water, including one dormitory room -- that would normally have held around 31 people -- packed with the bodies of 48 students wearing lifejackets.
About a quarter of the 187 bodies recovered so far have been found in waters outside the sunken vessel, raising fears that some of the missing may have drifted free from the wreck.
The gathering storm was intensifying worries that remains could be scattered when the sea is churned by strong winds.
Authorities -- wary of the palpable anger among relatives -- have mobilised eight trawlers and installed 13-kilometre nets anchored to the seabed across the Maenggol sea channel to prevent the dead being swept into the open ocean.
Dozens of other vessels, including navy ships as well as helicopters, have also been scouring the site and beyond.
Three fisheries patrol vessels were being pressed into the search operation, expanding the hunt up to 60 kilometres from the scene of the disaster.
Police and local government officials will also be mobilised to scour coastal areas and nearby islands, a coastguard official said.
Furious families demanded a meeting with Choi Sang-Hwan, deputy head of the Korea Coastguard, near the pier in Jindo Port, urging him to send the divers back into the water.
"We are waiting for the right moment as conditions in the sea are not favourable," said Choi.
Choi was physically attacked by angry parents on Thursday, a victim of the febrile atmosphere surrounding the tragedy, which has already seen multiple arrests and bitter recriminations.
It took divers working in difficult and dangerous conditions more than two days to get into the sunken ferry and two more days to retrieve the first bodies.
Many relatives believe some of the victims may have survived for several days in trapped air pockets, but perished in the cold water after no rescue came.
As a result some have asked for autopsies to be performed, to see if it would be possible to determine the precise cause and time of death.
The Sewol`s captain, Lee Joon-Seok, and 10 crew members have been arrested on charges ranging from criminal negligence to abandoning passengers.
The captain has been particularly criticised for delaying the evacuation order until the ferry was listing so sharply that escape was almost impossible.
Prosecutors have raided a host of businesses affiliated with the ferry operator, the Chonghaejin Marine Company, as part of an overall probe into corrupt management.
As part of their widening investigation, prosecutors issued travel bans Friday on eight current and former executives of the Korea Register of Shipping -- the body responsible for issuing marine safety certificates.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- Police registers case after parachute-like objects were spotted over Mumbai airport
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- One year of Modi govt: PM Modi addresses mega rally in Mathura Part-II
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- CBSE Board 12th XII Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced today at 12 Noon
- Kejriwal lists AAP govt's achievements of 100 days, slams Centre's 'dictatorial attitude'
- Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party changes its logo