Sewol-ho ferry: Search for missing and investigations continueUpdated: 2014-05-07 11:59:29 (KST)
Exactly three weeks have passed since the Sewol-ho ferry capsized off the southwestern coast of Korea.
Days have turned into weeks, but more than 30 people are still missing.
For the latest on the recovery operations and the ongoing investigations, we connect to our Kwon Soa at the News Center.
Soa, what's the latest?
Recovery operations are in full swing on this Wednesday, as from today, tidal currents are going to be at their calmest for the next four days.
Divers began with their search early this morning and a few hours ago, a female body was recovered on the fourth floor of the ship.
That means the number of missing now stands at 33, while 269 have been confirmed dead.
The first search phase was completed on Tuesday when all 64 cabinets out of the total 111 that were thought to have held passengers were opened and searched through at least once.
Now the cabins will be explored in detail, including bathrooms, storage rooms, and snack bars.
Freight cars may also be searched.
Out of concern for the rescue diver's health, more medical staff have been deployed at the accident site.
This comes after a civilian diver died on Tuesday when he went into the rough water to install new guideline ropes to the fifth floor of the ship to help in the search for the dozens of bodies that remain unaccounted for.
After about five minutes, at a depth of about 25 meters, the 53-year-old lost communication with his fellow divers.
The veteran diver was found unconscious and was transported by helicopter to the nearest hospital in Mokpo, but died soon after arriving.
This is the first fatality among divers in the nearly three weeks of search and rescue operations.
Officials are still trying to determine his exact cause of death.
"An X-ray of his chest showed no irregularities, but a scan to the head show a build-up of air inside his skull."
That is yet another sad twist to the disaster. Let's hope the remaining search operations are completed safely.
While the search for the missing continues, the investigations are also proceeding at a fast pace?
Yes, but some are slowing down the investigations, as people related to Yoo Byung-eun, the former Semo Group chairman and practical owner of the Cheonghaejin Marine Company,
which is the Sewol-ho ferry's operator,.. are not appearing in front of prosecutors for questioning.
This includes Yoo's second son, who is said to be abroad.
He was given an ultimatum to appear before this Thursday, after failing to show two times before.
If he doesn't come in tomorrow, he may be forced into the country, with the help of the FBI and Yoo Byung-eun and his first son may be summoned first.
Meanwhile, at the prosecutor's office in Incheon, the special investigation team questioned two out of seven key figures related to Yoo throughout the night.
This includes Byun Gi-choon, the president of , as well as Semo Group president Ko Chang-hwan, who are both suspected of irregular business practices.
Prosecutors will decide soon whether they will issue an arrest warrant.
Soa, people in Korea have just wrapped up a long holiday weekend that included Children's Day and Buddha's Birthday.
Many people chose to pay respects to the victims of the Sewol-ho ferry disaster by visiting memorial altars Tell us more about that
Yes, at a group memorial altar set up in the city of Ansan where most of the victims were from visitors from all around the country came to pay their respects.
Since it opened a week ago, the Ansan Memorial Hall has received more than 430-thousand visitors, and a total of at least 1.4 million have visited one of the many memorial altars set up throughout the nation.
Outside the mass memorial hall in Ansan, a row of parents of the young passengers that were onboard of the ferry are continuing their silent protest for a fifth day, along with other citizens and organizations.
They are holding up signs expressing their discontent with the government over its handling of tragedy as well as messages to their children that say, "I miss you," "sorry", and "I love you."
That's all for now, from the News Center.
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