Sunken Korea ferry relatives give DNA swabs to help identify dead
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 01:54
April 19 - Relatives of the more than 200 children missing in a sunken South Korean ferry offer DNA swabs to help identify the dead, as the rescue operation turns into a mission to recover the bodies. Mana Rabiee reports.
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DNA swabs are being taken from families of the missing in South Korea's ferry disaster.
The next step in the recovery stage, as hope fades that any of the more than 200 children still missing will be rescued alive.
More bodies were recovered later in the day by the coast guard, bringing the death toll to Wednesday's disaster to at least 32.
They were taken to a make shift morgue for families to identify.
Rescue divers say they're struggling against strong tides and murky waters.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN CIVILIAN DIVER, HWANG JANG-BOK, SAYING:
"We need cranes. If they could raise the ferry a little, the depth of water will be reduced so that we can conduct rescue operations easily and quickly. It is 30-45 meters deep. It will be hard to take them out even if there are survivors in the ferry."
Those cranes have already arrived but authorities want to move with caution.
They don't want the salvage operation to harm survivors who may be trapped inside.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN COAST GUARD OFFICIAL KO MYUNG-SUK SAYING:
"Regarding a salvage operation, we basically need an approval of families and our government should have a discussion with them. We are in preparation, but we haven't set specific plans yet."
Meanwhile, scores of ferry passengers are canceling their trips over safety concerns.
On Saturday, ticket counters where the sunken ferry started its ill-fated journey were mostly empty.
It just doesn't feel right, said one tourist who canceled her booking.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 54-YEAR-OLD INCHEON RESIDENT, KIM MI-SOOK, SAYING:
"We won't be able to make an exciting trip with this heavy heart after the accident, so my husband and I decided not to go."
Anger is mounting over the ferry's captain, who was arrested Saturday for negligence.
Police have also raided offices and are questioning ten people over the loading of cargo on the ferry before she sank.
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