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Crews Find Remains Believed to Be South Korea Ferry Disaster Victim

  • VOA News

Family members of victims onboard the sunken ferry Sewol and religious people look on during a memorial ceremony at the sea off Jindo, South Korea, March 28, 2017.

South Korean officials say salvage crews have found a body that may be one of the missing victims of a 2014 ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people.

The maritime ministry said the remains were found in the area where crews raised the ship's wreckage last week.

The ferry capsized in April 2014 with 476 people on board, many of them high school students, as the ship was traveling from Incheon to the holiday resort of Jeju Island. A total of 304 people died in what is one of the country's worst maritime disasters.

Family members of victims onboard the sunken ferry Sewol react as they look on during its salvage operations at the sea off Jindo, South Korea, March 26, 2017.
Family members of victims onboard the sunken ferry Sewol react as they look on during its salvage operations at the sea off Jindo, South Korea, March 26, 2017.

Rescue workers recovered the bodies of all but nine of the dead before the government called off underwater searches in November 2014.

The disaster quickly highlighted the government's inadequate emergency protocol, but it also exposed deep-seated issues of corruption and failed regulations, sparking public outrage that in part fueled the recent ouster of President Park Geun-hye.

The ferry's captain, Lee Joon-seok, who abandoned ship, was convicted of gross negligence and sentenced to life in prison, while 14 other crew members were sentenced to up to 12 years in prison for abandonment and violating maritime law.

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