South Korean divers struggle to open blocked ferry cabins
Seoul: South Korean dive teams struggled today to gain access to blocked cabins of a submerged ferry that sank nearly three weeks ago, as the confirmed death toll from the disaster rose to 242.
Six more bodies were recovered early today, 18 days after the 6,825-tonne Sewol capsized and sank with 476 people on board - most of them schoolchildren - while 60 remain unaccounted for.
"Rescuers using some equipment are trying to open blocked cabins," spokesman Ko Myeong-Suk told a morning briefing.
The search has been hampered by fast currents and high waves, while dive teams have been working in challenging and sometimes hazardous conditions.
They have to grope their way down guiding ropes to the sunken ship, struggling through narrow passageways and rooms littered with floating debris in silty water.
As days go by, personal belongings and other items from the ship have been spotted further and further away, fuelling concerns that some victims of the ferry disaster may never be found.
One body was retrieved Friday by a fishing vessel four kilometres (two miles) away from the recovery site, and another was found two kilometres away on Wednesday.
As a precaution, recovery workers have put rings of netting around the site.
Bedding materials from the ship were found as far as 30 kilometres from the disaster site on Friday.
It is one of South Korea`s worst peacetime disasters, made all the more shocking by the loss of so many young lives.
Of those on board, 325 were students from the same high school in Ansan city, just south of Seoul.
Public anger has focused on the captain and crew members who abandoned the ship while hundreds were trapped inside, and on the authorities as more evidence emerges of lax safety standards and possible corruption among state regulators.
The captain and 14 of his crew have been arrested.
The Sewol`s regular captain, who was off duty on the day of the accident, has told prosecutors that the ferry operator - Chonghaejin Marine Co - "brushed aside" repeated warnings that the 20-year-old ship had stability issues following a renovation in 2012.
Two Chonghaejin officials were arrested on Friday on charges of having the ferry overloaded well beyond its legal limit.
Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Entire Indian force can't defend Kashmir from terrorists: Farooq Abdullah
- Woman cop transferred within 24 hours of spat with Haryana minister Anil Vij
- Sheena Bora murder: Why did Indrani send servant to Kolkata to get illegal drugs?
- PM Narendra Modi meets journalists at Diwali Milan
- Women fit only to deliver children, gender equality un-islamic: Kerala Muslim leader