Bodies retrieved from South Korean ferry, toll reaches 36

Jindo (South Korea), April 20: Three bodies were retrieved for the first time late Saturday night from the sunken South Korean ferry, the emergency management headquarters said Sunday.

The bodies were retrieved from inside the hull of the submerged ship at 11.48 p.m. local time Saturday, the first such recovery nearly four days after the ferry carrying 476 passengers and crew capsized and sank off Jindo Island Wednesday morning en route to island of Jeju from western port of Incheon, Xinhua reported.

Divers broke a window glass to enter the passenger compartment, pulling the male passengers’ bodies out of the submerged ship.

The recovery of the three more bodies raised the toll to 36, with 266 still missing. The number of the rescued remained unchanged at 174.

Four bodies were discovered Saturday evening in waters near the accident site.

Coast guard, navy and private divers strived against rapid currents to get into the hull of the ship, and found three bodies on the fourth floor of the five-storey vessel for the first time Saturday morning.

The third and fourth floors are comprised of passenger cabins, where most of possible survivors may be trapped. Divers succeeded in getting inside the hull Friday.

IANS