:(AFP) – South Korea’s sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters Thursday, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye.
Television pictures showed one side of the 145-metre-long vessel, its white structure rusted and filthy, above the waves between two giant salvage barges.The complex operation – one of the largest raisings of an entire ship ever attempted – comes as the third anniversary approaches of one of the country’s worst-ever maritime disasters.
Almost all the dead were schoolchildren and it is thought that nine bodies still unaccounted for may be trapped inside the sunken ship. Raising the ferry intact has been a key demand of the families of the victims.Several relatives watched the much-anticipated operation unfolding from a boat near the site.”To see the Sewol again, I can’t describe how I’m feeling right now,” said Huh Hong-Hwan, whose 16-year-old daughter was killed in the accident. Her body has not been found.
Huh and his wife have for years maintained a bitter, defiant vigil in Jindo along with a handful of other relatives of missing victims.