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Ferry search: 188 confirmed dead; 114 still missing Updated: 2014-04-28 11:57:32 KST

Ferry search: 188 confirmed dead; 114 still missing
Search-and-rescue operations are being slowed down due to bad weather conditions off the southwestern coast of Korea where the Sewol-ho ferry sank almost two weeks ago.
The number of confirmed deaths currently stands at one hundred-eighty-eight, while one hundred-fourteen others, mostly teenage high school students, remain missing and are presumed dead.
Let's go straight to our Kim Ji-yeon joining us from our news center.
Ji-yeon, what's the latest?

A video has been released by authorities which shows the captain of the Sewol-ho ferry Lee Joon-seok leaving without attending to his passengers.
The nearly 10 minutes of footage was taken from a member of the rescue operation team, one of the first to reach the accident site.
The captain is spotted without pants as he's seen leaving the vessel, which you can see is listing.
With the help of the coast guard, Captain Lee can be seen hopping onto the rescue boat.
As he was not wearing a uniform or anything else that would distinguish him as being a captain, he abandons the ferry without anyone recognizing who he is.

This video is being viewed as hard evidence that proves the captain was among the first to get off the ferry.
It also appears to refute Captain Lee's testimony that it was very difficult for him to escape the ferry.
Mokpo coast guard official Kim Kyung-il , who was one of the first to arrive on the scene, held a press briefing just two hours ago explaining the conditions at the time.

"My team tried to get inside the vessel, into the broadcasting booth to tell the passengers to get out of the vessel. But we weren't able. The vessel was listing 40 to 50 degrees and there were people in the freezing water."

Jiyeon, we are now in a 13th day of search and rescue operations and the divers are facing increasingly difficult conditions at the accident site. How are the search operations progressing?

The authorities are considering using more tools to speed up the search operations.
Compact explosives may be used to take out debris blocking passageways within the ferry but only when the families of the missing give their consent.
The explosives will speed up operations, but there is the concern that it may damage bodies trapped inside.
The move looks to address criticism that the search operation is taking too long.

And speaking of the search operation, authorities are taking measures to make sure that they recover all the bodies from the accident. They'll be using floating buoys.

That's right, Conn-young.
The buoys will be used to detect various environmental factors such as the wind direction, speed, water temperature and water pressure.
All of it will be used to determine in real time the possible location of bodies that may have been carried away by strong sea currents.
Among the 188 bodies recovered so far, around 40 were found outside the vessel.
There's currently a net 13 kilometers long surrounding the site.
The search team is also expanding its operations to a 60 kilometer radius around the accident site.

And there's a new wrinkle to the investigation into the aftermath of the Sewol-ho ferry disaster, and it has to do with the ship's life boats.

Not just the life boats, but the ferry's life vests as well.
All those found on board the Sewol were made 20 years ago.
The investigators believe the products may have been used ever since they were manufactured in May of 1994.
Normally, a life boat would deploy automatically when receiving external pressure but in the Sewol-ho ferry accident, a majority of the life boats did not work.
We'll bring you more updates later today.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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