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Investigation panel on Sewol ferry closes this week

All Headlines 16:22 August 05, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- A state panel that has investigated the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster will wrap up its yearlong effort to determine the exact cause of the country's worst maritime tragedy, which killed more than 300 passengers, officials said Sunday.

Launched in July last year, the eight-member panel will close its official operations on Monday and hold a press conference to explain its activities over the past 13 months.

The fact-finding body has played a key role in handling various issues like searching for missing bodies after the salvage effort to refloat the ill-fated 6,800 ton-ship in April last year was completed.

It has looked inside the hull and conducted a number of simulations to find out what made the ship sink.

But the panel failed to arrive at a clear conclusion as its members were split over the cause of the accident. Some argue that the ferry was capsized due to a sudden turn and overloading, while others say the ship was struck by an unidentified object.

Later on, a separate special panel will take over responsibility and continue fact-finding operations.

The Sewol ferry sank in waters off the southwest coast, which resulted in 304 people dead and nine going missing at the time. Most of the victims were high school students who were on the way to an excursion to Jeju Island.

After the ship was raised from the water, the remains of five missing passengers were found on board.

This photo taken on June 25, 2018, shows the hull of the Sewol ferry at the Port of Mokpo. (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr
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