Sunken ferry relatives give DNA swabs to help identify victims
Updated: 2014-04-19 17:43
Lee Joon-Seok, captain of South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at sea off Jindo, walks out of court after an investigation in Mokpo April 19, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
|Passengers wait for words|
President Park Geun-hye was jeered by some when she visited on Thursday. "Park Geun-hye should come here again," Kang Hyuck's mother said.
Three cranes were moved close to the sunken ship on Saturday but were not deployed. Strong tides and rough weather again impeded efforts to get inside.
Coastguard spokesman Kim Jae-in said the cranes would be deployed when the divers say it is safe.
"Lifting the ship does not mean they will remove it completely from the sea. They can lift it two to three metres off the seabed," he said.
Coastguard officials said that divers would make another attempt to enter the ship in the evening.
"The chances of finding anyone alive now are almost zero," said Bruce Reid, Chief Executive Officer of the International Maritime Rescue Foundation.
"There will still be a search operation on the water, a surface search, but it would be more of a recovery exercise now. They'll be looking for bodies."
The capsize occurred in calm weather on a well-travelled 400 km (300 mile) sea route from Incheon to Jeju some 25 km (15 miles) from land.
Lee, the ship's captain, was described by officials from Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd, the owner of the vessel, as a "veteran".
"I had ordered (passengers) to leave the ferry, but (later) I said to them to stay because there was no rescue ship," he told South Korean television as he was led away by police.
Police also raided Chonghaejin offices in Incheon and Yang Joong-jin, a prosecutor in the city of Mokpo, said ten people were being questioned over the loading and stowing of the Sewol's cargo.
Yonhap news agency said 180 vehicles were onboard the ferry along with 1,157 tons of freight. At least some of the freight was in containers stacked on the foredeck.
Relatives and friends of the schoolchildren have also gathered at the Danwon High School in the commuter town of Ansan.
The vice-principal of the school, Kang Min-gyu, 52, was one of those rescued as the children followed orders and stayed aboard. He hanged himself outside the gym in Jindo, police said.
His body was discovered on Friday and police released part of a two-page suicide note.
"Burn my body and scatter my ashes at the site of the sunken ferry," he wrote. "Perhaps I can become a teacher for the missing students in my next life."