Sewol bone fragments "not from a victim"

Sewol bone fragments "not from a victim"
By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters

Bereaved families are hoping to find the last nine bodies still missing after the South Korean ferry sank in 2014 with the loss of 304 lives.

Officials in South Korea say bone fragments found near the salvaged wreckage of the Sewol ferry came from an animal and not an unrecovered victim of the disaster.

Eun-hwa, let's go home. Mommy will find you quickly

Lee Kum-hee Mother of missing child

An official had earlier told reporters that the remains found appeared to come from at least once unrecovered victim.

The fragments range from 4cm to 18 cm in length.

However, analysis by the National Forensic Service showed that seven pieces of bone found came from an animal.

How many people are still missing?

Nine. 304 people died when the ferry sank on April 16, 2014. Most of them were children on a school trip.

The ferry was raised last week and loaded onto a semi-submersible vessel to be taken to a nearby port.

Of those killed, 250 were teenagers from the same high school.

What happened?

The Sewol was structurally unsound, overloaded and travelling too fast on a turn.

It capsized and sank off the country’s southwest coast.

Has anyone been held responsible for what happened?

Yes. The ferry’s captain was found guilty of homicide in 2015 and jailed for life.

More than a dozen other crew members received shorter sentences.

The botched rescue and loss of so many children in one of Asia’s most technically-advanced economies shocked and angered the country.

A difficult time for relatives

The news comes as bereaved families and officials hope to find the last nine bodies still missing from the disaster.

Weeping relatives attended the memorial service for the missing held near the wreck of the vessel. Yellow roses were thrown onto the sea.

“Eun-hwa, let’s go home. Mommy will find you quickly. You should hang in there a bit to meet Mommy,” said Lee Kum-hee whose daughter is among the missing.

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