May 11, 2018 11:56
The wreck of the ferry Sewol, which was salvaged from the sea floor last year after it sank in April 2014 killing over 300 passengers, was set upright on Thursday.
The 6,900-ton ferry had been lying sideways in dry dock since in April last year. The maneuver was undertaken by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries to allow investigators a closer look at parts of the ship that had not been accessible.
Conspiracy theorists who believe that the ferry collided with a submarine can now see the error of their ways since there are no visible signs of a collision.
Investigators will start searching inside the vessel next month, not least to look for the remains of several passengers who are still officially missing. What will happen to the hull once the search is completed is unclear, but the government wants to put the decision up for public debate.
One option is to keep it as a memorial in its current state, while another is to retain only a portion of the ship. Either Incheon, where the ship set off, or Jeju Island, where it was destined to arrive, are the likely locations to exhibit it permanently.
Another option would be Ansan south of Seoul, where the many teenagers among the victims went to school.
There are many technical difficulties in the transport of the huge wreck. Lee Jeong-il, the chief investigator, said, "We have no choice but to sever the ship in half to transport it. But this goes against the principle of preserving the ship and may face opposition from the families of the victims."
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