POSTED: 1:23 a.m. HST, Jun 5, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 1:23 a.m. HST, Jun 5, 2014
SEOUL, South Korea >> A victim from the sunken South Korea ferry was retrieved in waters 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the capsized vessel Thursday, raising the death toll to 289, officials said.
It was the first body recovered since May 21. A government task force said in a statement that fingerprint scans identified the body as one of passengers from the ferry that sank April 16.
Another 15 people remain missing. Heavy objects like desks and cabinets have made it difficult for divers to navigate through unsearched parts of the ferry. They have been cutting open parts of the ship exterior to make searches easier.
The victim found Thursday, whose surname was Cho, was traveling with his family to the southern resort island of Jeju. His wife and an 11-year-old son have already been found dead while his 7-year-old son was rescued, according to the task force. Officials said Cho was born in 1970, making him either 43 or 44.
Most of the ferry victims were students from a single high school near Seoul who were on a school trip to Jeju.