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Saturday, April 19, 2014

268 Feared Dead in Ferry Tragedy

Experts said yesterday that it's now unlikely that any of the 268 missing passengers of the ill fated SoKor ferry that capsized will be found alive. So far 28 of the 475 passengers and crew on the Sewol ferry have been officially declared dead and 179 have been rescued including 2 Pilipinos whose identities weren't immediately available. Rescuers were pumping air into the dining hall of the vessel where many of the passengers were expected to be. South Korea's coastguard meanwhile denied that divers had entered a capsized ferry on Friday in a bid to locate any survivors from an accident that appears to have claimed the lives of hundreds of passengers many of them schoolchildren. YTN TV South Korea's main cable news station had reported that 8 divers were taking it turns to search the vessel, but the coastguard said that the divers hadn't yet been deployed inside the stricken vessel. The coastguard also denied TV reports that the ship had been fully submerged over 48 hours after the accident. An investigation into the sinking, South Korea's worst maritime accident in 21 years in terms of potential loss of life has focused on the role of the 69 yr. old captain and the crew of the ship. It's normal for junior officers to take the helm and the 400 Km (300 Mile) journey from the mainland port of Incheon to the resort island of Jeju was a regular trip in familiar waters. 
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