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Families of those missing from ferry disaster grow restless amid rising death toll

Updated: 2014-04-23 18:57:17 (KST)
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Let's now go over to our Hwang Sung-hee who's been reporting from the nearest port from the accident site.
Sung-hee, dozens of bodies were retrieved in search operations overnight, but still no word of a single survivor.

That's right.
We are now into the eighth day of search-and-rescue operations and not a single survivor has been found since the ferry capsized.
Most of the bodies found today were students from Danwon High School and still, some 1-hundred-50 people remain missing inside the sunken ship and most of them are high school students.
The families of the missing camping out here at the Paengmok-hang Harbor are clinging to every last shred of hope but they are growing restless.
I've seen family members who've received reports confirming the death of their child, collapse and pass out and others are weeping and crying out into the open sea, telling their children to return.
With the rising death toll, temporary funeral parlors have been set up at this harbor.

How is the search-and-rescue operation going? Any progress?

The rescue team focused their search on the third and fourth floors of the vessel.
That's where the cabins are, and authorities believe that many passengers were there at the time of the accident.
This was backed up by a passenger who was on the Sewol-ho ferry.


"I was rescued early so I don't know the current situation. But based on what I saw there were students on the third and fourth floors, where the cabins are. They were told to wait and that's why it became too late to rescue them."

He was one of the first to be rescued when the ferry capsized and his wife still remains in the sunken ship.
But authorities said there were no air pockets in some of the compartments searched on the third and fourth floor reducing the chance of finding survivors.
More than 2-hundred rescue ships, 34 aircraft, and 5-hundred-50 divers are continuing their rescue operations.
Unfortunately, high-tech drones like the Remotely-Operated Vehicles are not yielding many results.
It's been a week since the tragedy, and messages of support for those still missing in the sunken ship were sent to Paengmok-hang Harbor from across the nation.
The messages said "We love you all" and that "miracles will happen."
This has been Hwang Sung-hee reporting from Paengmok-hang Harbor.


Reporter : ssung86@arirang.co.kr

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