Remains found by South Korean ferry salvage crew

South Korea has held a memorial ceremony at sea for the nine passengers still missing from the 2014 ferry disaster that killed 304 passengers near the ship's wreckage that was raised from the waters last week. Mistakes have continued three years later, even as workers pulled off a Herculean effort to lift the corroding 6,800-ton ship from the sea and place it on a heavy lift transport vessel that will carry it to port.

But the ministry corrected its initial statement, declaring: "According to test results by the National Forensic Service, they have been confirmed to be seven animal bone fragments".

The Sewol was structurally unsound, overloaded and sailing too fast on a turn when it capsized and sank off the southwest coast of South Korea in April 2014.

The ferry, which is still partly submerged, is being searched for victims' remains.

After the confusion involving the bones discovered on the Sewol ferry, which turned out to belong to a pig, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries promised to continue the salvaging process carefully so as to not lose the remains of nine missing victims.

The clarification is another tragic twist for relatives of the nine victims who remain missing almost three years after the Sewol capsized off the South Korean coast, killing 304 passengers - most of whom were teens on a school trip.

The official said six pieces of human bones that are 4-18 centimeters long came out of a window of a passenger room during draining operation.

In this Friday, March 24, 2017 photo, the partially lifted sunken ferry Sewol, center, is ready for transport in waters off Jindo, South Korea.

Rescue workers recovered the bodies of 295 people - a lot of them students on a high school trip - before the government ended underwater searches in November 2014, seven months after the ship sank. Relatives had expressed concerns that remains of the missing victims could slip out through the holes and get lost. "Please don't forget there are people inside the dirty, rusty and smelly wreckage". "All we want is to find our family members and go back home", she said.

The disaster quickly highlighted the government's inadequate emergency protocol, but it also exposed deep-seated issues of corruption and failed regulations, sparking public outrage that in part fueled the recent ouster of President Park Geun-hye.

Our top story this morning Korea is resuming preparations to transport the recovered Sewol-ho ferry to Mokpo New Port.

The disaster was blamed on a combination of illegal redesigns, cargo overloading, the inexperience of the crew member steering the vessel, and lax government regulations.

  • Leroy Wright