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South Korea ferry disaster: Divers remove first 3 bodies from sunken vessel

Published on Apr 20, 2014 1:01 AM
A covered body of a missing passenger of the sunken South Korean ferry Sewol is carried by rescue workers from a coastguard ship to the landing pier at a port, where family members of the missing passengers are gathered, in Jindo on April 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JINDO, South Korea (AFP) - Divers have removed the first bodies from the South Korean ferry that capsized nearly four days ago with 476 people on board, the coast guard said on Sunday.

"Divers broke through the window of a passenger cabin just before midnight and pulled out three bodies," a coast guard official told AFP.

All three were wearing lifejackets, the official said, adding that two were male but the gender of the third was not immediately confirmed.

The official said they were the same three bodies that had been spotted, but not retrieved, during an earlier dive.

Rescue teams planned to continue dive missions through the night to the ferry, which capsized on Wednesday morning, he said.

The confirmed death toll from the disaster now stands at 36 with 266 people still unaccounted for.