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Body found 6 months after Sewol ferry capsized off South Korea coast

South Korea's disaster response team announced the discovery Tuesday of a badly decomposed body aboard the submerged Sewol ferry that capsized April 16, bringing the death toll to 295.

By
JC Finley
Recovery divers from South Korea (L) and the United States (R) during a joint dive training exercise, pictured in 2010. (UPI/U.S. Navy/Byron C. Linder)
Recovery divers from South Korea (L) and the United States (R) during a joint dive training exercise, pictured in 2010. (UPI/U.S. Navy/Byron C. Linder)

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- More than six months after a ferry capsized off South Korea's coast, divers on Tuesday discovered a badly decomposed body in the submerged vessel's fourth-deck female bathroom.

The discovery brings the Sewol ferry death toll to 295. Nine people remain missing, with officials promising to continue search efforts until families of the victims direct them otherwise.

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Officials with the government's disaster response team said the body is believed to be that of a woman but offered no further identification.

The recovery team is expected to extract the body when the currents subside at either 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday or 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The five-story ferry was carrying 476 people when it capsized on April 16, and 174 passengers were rescued, including the captain and most of the crew.

On Monday, prosecutors responsible for trying ferry captain Lee Joon-seok on over 300 counts of murder announced they will seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors attribute the Sewol's high death toll to Joon-seok's order to passengers to wait and remain on the boat while he and the ship's crew abandoned the ship in order to be rescued.

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