Bodies retrieved from South Korean ferry, toll reaches 36

Jindo (South Korea) (IANS): Three bodies were retrieved for the first time late Saturday night from the sunken South Korean ferry, the emergency management headquarters said Sunday.

The bodies were retrieved from inside the hull of the submerged ship at 11.48 p.m. local time Saturday, the first such recovery nearly four days after the ferry carrying 476 passengers and crew capsized and sank off Jindo Island Wednesday morning en route to island of Jeju from western port of Incheon, Xinhua reported.

Divers broke a window glass to enter the passenger compartment, pulling the male passengers’ bodies out of the submerged ship.

The recovery of the three more bodies raised the toll to 36, with 266 still missing. The number of the rescued remained unchanged at 174.

Four bodies were discovered Saturday evening in waters near the accident site.

Coast guard, navy and private divers strived against rapid currents to get into the hull of the ship, and found three bodies on the fourth floor of the five-storey vessel for the first time Saturday morning.

The third and fourth floors are comprised of passenger cabins, where most of possible survivors may be trapped. Divers succeeded in getting inside the hull Friday.


Beijing (IANS) The vice-principal of a South Korean high school who accompanied students on the ferry that capsized committed suicide Friday.

Kang Min-gyu, 52, hanged himself with his belt from a tree outside a gym in the port city of Jindo where relatives of those missing, mostly children from the school, were gathered, Shanghai Daily reported.

He had been reported missing since Thursday.

Kang did not leave a suicide note and the authorities had started looking for him after he was reported missing by a fellow teacher, the police said.

The Sewol, carrying 476 passengers and crew, capsized Wednesday on a journey from the port of Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju.

The passengers aboard the vessel included 325 high school students and 15 teachers on a four-day field trip.

Twenty eight people were confirmed dead and 268 are still missing.

A total of 179 people were rescued.

Three large salvage ships arrived at the scene Friday morning to pull the ship out of the water.
It is expected to take over a month to salvage the submerged vessel.