April 15, 2010 10:45
The families of missing sailors appeared tense and agitated on Wednesday, a day before the stern of the sunken Navy corvette Cheonan was to be hoisted out of the West Sea. The bodies of most of the missing sailors are believed to be in the stern.
Lee Jeong-guk, who represents the families, said they formed a committee to oversee funeral proceedings. "After seeing images of the Cheonan's split section shredded like paper, the families have concluded that a torpedo was the cause of the blow. There is a high possibility that the bodies of the sailors who were close to the point of impact may have been obliterated in the blast, and we are explaining this to the families."
Lee estimated that the bodies of all 44 could be in the stern, but if no more bodies are found even after searching the bow, family members are willing to accept that they died.
The families say it may not be possible to locate the bodies of six to 10 sailors since they were in the engine room of the sunken vessel. But they have not yet reached agreement with the military whether the sailors should be treated as having died in the line of duty or killed in combat.
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