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South Korea ferry disaster: Fears that victims' bodies may never be recovered

Published on May 1, 2014 12:08 PM
Policewomen comfort a family member (centre) of missing passengers onboard the capsized passenger ship Sewol, as she waits for news from a search and rescue operation team at a port in Jindo on April 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - The recovery of a body from South Korea's ferry disaster some distance from the submerged vessel fuelled concerns on Thursday that many among the scores still missing may never be found.

More than two weeks after the 6,825-tonne Sewol capsized and sank, 213 people have been confirmed dead but 89 remain unaccounted for, much to the frustration and anger of the victims' families.

On Wednesday, a fishing boat pulled a body from the sea about 2km away from the main recovery site off the southern island of Jindo.

"This made us even more aware of the importance of preventing the loss of victims' bodies," Mr Park Seung Ki, spokesman for the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, told reporters. Recovery workers put a ring of netting around the site days ago, but there are concerns that powerful currents in the area may have pulled some bodies into the open sea.

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