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Ferry disaster: Maritime minister to direct operations on site Updated: 2014-04-25 11:54:26 KST

Ferry disaster: Maritime minister to direct operations on site
One hundred-eighty-three people have now been confirmed dead in the sinking of the ferry, and one-hundred-nineteen others remain missing.
In waters off Korea's southwestern coast where the accident happened search operations are now into a tenth day.
Not a single survivor has been found since the ferry capsized last Wednesday morning but efforts continue, with authorities having decided to use a "diving bell" at the site for the first time later this afternoon.
For the latest, we now go live to our Song Ji-sun , at Paengmok-hang Harbor - the nearest point of land to the accident site. Ji-sun?

The rescue operation continues although currents in the area are forecast to get stronger again from today.
Three more female bodies most likely Danwon High school students were recovered from early this morning -- and the death toll now well exceeds the number of survivors standing at 1-hundred-83 with 1-hundred-19 still missing.
The divers will continue their search on the third floor where the cafeteria isand on the fourth level of the ship where the cabins of most Danwon High School students were located -- focusing on the center of the deck.
Authorities will also deploy a diving bell in an hour from now - a chamber that could be used as a base and transportation of divers underwater to beef up the number of divers that can engage in search operation.
The search will continue as parents of the missing have requested that the ferry not be lifted out of water until every body is recovered.
Five cranes are on stand-by, but no one assumes the lifting will take place any time soon.

And, Ji-sun, it seems like tensions between the families of the missing and authorities involved in the search operations have passed the boiling point. Have things calmed down a bit?

Yes, the all-out search efforts came after the exhausted and angry parents of the missing Danwon High School students made their doubts about the ongoing operation known to authorities here.
They sat down with the oceans minister and the coast guard commissioner from 5 p.m. Thursday evening questioning them for hours about whether enough was and is being done.
The parents want more diving distance lines to be installed on the fourth deck of the sunken ferry where most students are expected to be and they are demanding more civilian divers be brought into the operation.
Parents want them back in the water as they think there are not enough divers out there to recover the bodies of their children.
Several parents will also be out on the waters on the barge where divers engage in search operation.
The maritime minister and coast guard chief will stay on site to direct the operations and assist the familiesas the parents requested until the last student is brought back on shore.
This was Song Ji-sun reporting live from Paengmok-hang Harbor in Jindo.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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