A joint rescue team will search the unchecked areas of the Sewol ferry in a last-ditch effort to find the remains of victims who are still missing, a state-run commission said Tuesday.
The ill-fated ferry, which sank off the country's southwestern coast near Jindo Island in April 2014 claiming more than 300 lives, was hoisted from the seabed last year and moved to Mokpo, 410 kilometers southwest of Seoul.
The left side 6,800-ton vessel was lying on the port, which made it hard to gain access to the engine room and some other parts. It was therefore lifted to an upright position in a month-long operation to allow additional searches to be conducted.
|The Sewol ferry (Yonhap)|
The Sewol Investigation Commission said it will set up bracing structures inside of the ship by Friday and begin the search mission on June 25. The mission is set to last for the next two months.
Five people are still missing from the deadly disaster that mostly claimed the lives of high school students on a field trip.
"The recovery team will search an auxiliary engine room and the vessel's left side that has been sitting on the bottom," the commission said in a release. "If needed, we will consider additional search into the ship."
Once the search operation is completed, the commission will collect public opinions on what to do with the ship. Possible options include preserving it in its entirety to raise public awareness of the tragic incident or leaving parts of it as a symbol of remembrance. (Yonhap)