Rescuers found what they belive to be the body of one of the 11 people missing from April’s ferry sinking in waters near the shipwreck site on Tuesday, after no progress was made over the past week, officials said.
The body, suspected to be that of a male, was discovered in the waters off the country’s southwest coast at 11:45 a.m., according to officials of the government crisis center. The body is presumed to have been swept from the submerged hull.
The officials said they will conduct a DNA test and fingerprint scan to identify the body.
Meanwhile, a group of Navy, Coast Guard and civilian divers has resumed underwater operations to find those still missing, the officials said.
The officials said the divers will comb the cabins on the third and fourth decks, as well as the left side of the fifth floor, where the missing are presumed to be.
The official death toll stood at 293 as of Tuesday afternoon.
The team also said it will reassess its search plan amid mounting criticism from the families of the missing that the strategy contains flaws ahead of the upcoming rainy season, which could further hamper the herculean task.
The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol, carrying an estimated 476 people, sank in waters off Jindo Island en route to the southern resort island of Jejudo from the country’s western port city of Incheon. Most of the passengers were high school students on a field trip. (Yonhap)