Search Resumes for Ferry Disaster Victims

The search for missing victims of the ferry disaster off the southwest coast resumed on Tuesday afternoon after a three-day halt due to bad weather.

Divers found the body of a female student on the fourth level of the sunken ferry, which is lying on its side at the bottom of the ocean. Divers had to sift through debris and other obstacles that have flooded the ship.

But 28 passengers remain missing. Among them are 15 teenagers from Danwon High School who were on a field trip to Jeju island. Coast guards believe they were trapped in the fourth floor of the ferry when it sank.

Families of missing passengers from the ferry disaster off the southwest coast cry as they watch the dark sea at a port in Jindo, South Jeolla Province on Tuesday. /News 1 Families of missing passengers from the ferry disaster off the southwest coast cry as they watch the dark sea at a port in Jindo, South Jeolla Province on Tuesday. /News 1

Boys were allocated cabins in the front of the ship and female students in the rear. Divers believe the bodies of the missing crew and other passengers are trapped on the third floor.

A search continues for passengers who had moved up to other floors from their reserved berths before the ship sank.

The efforts have become more difficult as partitions in areas of the sunken ship have weakened under the weight of water pressure.

Ko Myung-seok, an official working in rescue operations, said, "As part of the partition on the fourth floor start to warp, the main passageway on the level is almost completely blocked."

Divers are trying to get into the cabins by boring a hole through the walls.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 14, 2014 09:24 KST