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(LEAD) Apparent human bones found on seabed around wreckage of bulk carrier: ministry

Diplomacy 14:33 February 21, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details)

SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- A deep-sea search team has found bones believed to be from at least one of the missing victims who were aboard a South Korean bulk carrier, the Stellar Daisy, which sank in the South Atlantic two years ago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday.

The search ship, Seabed Constructor, of Ocean Infinity, a Texas-based exploration firm, has been scouring the accident area under a contract, worth 4.8 billion won (US$4.3 million), with the South Korean government.

"On Feb. 20 (local time), it discovered part of the remains, seen as human bones, and an orange-colored object that appears to be working clothes, on the seabed around a fragment of the hull," the ministry said.

An image of a voyage data recorder of Stellar Daisy in a photo provided by South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (Yonhap)

Last weekend, the search team retrieved a voyage data recorder (VDR) of the ill-fated vessel during its operation using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and other high-tech equipment.

Seabed Constructor set sail from Cape Town, South Africa, on Feb. 8 and arrived at the presumed accident area, some 3,700 kilometers off Uruguay, six days later.

Stellar Daisy left Brazil, loaded with 260,000 tons of iron ore, in March 2017 bound for China. Eight South Korean and 14 Filipino crew members remain missing.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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