Attempts to salvage sunken S.Korean passenger ferry

Indo Asian News Service

Seoul, March 20 (IANS) South Korean officials on Monday said an attempt would be made this week to salvage a sunken passenger ferry which capsized in 2014 killing over 300 people.

The ferry, Sewol, with 476 passengers on board capsized and sank off Jindo Island, in South Jeolla province, on April 16, 2014, Xinhua news agency reported.

The country's worst maritime disaster claimed the lives of 304 people, mostly high school students who were on a school trip. Nine bodies remain unaccounted for.

The test salvaging operation would be conducted to raise the ship -- which has lain on the sea bed on its left side -- 1-2 metres off from the bedrock in a bid to check possible technical problems.

If no problem is found, the wreckage would be fully lifted. The ferry lies about 40 metres underneath the water surface.

Two jack-up barges would bring the ship to the surface and then two semi-submersible vessels would carry it to a port in Mokpo, about 90 km away from Jindo Island.