Asia

Body found in sunken Sewol ferry in South Korea

This South Korea Coast Guard handout photo taken at sea some 20 kilometres (12 miles) off the island of Byungpoong in Jindo on 16 April 2014 shows South Korea Coast Guard members rescuing some of the passengers and crew aboard a South Korean ferry sinking on its way to Jeju island from Incheon Image copyright AFP
Image caption Only 174 people survived when the Sewol sank on 16 April

Search divers in South Korea have found a body in the sunken Sewol ferry, six months after it capsized leaving more than 300 people, mainly students, dead.

The body was found in a woman's toilet, said Yonhap. It is the first body to be recovered in three months.

The ferry carrying 476 people sank in April. The official death toll stands at 295, but nine bodies have yet to be recovered by rescue teams.

The captain of the ferry is standing trial, charged with negligent homicide.

Prosecutors have sought the death penalty for Lee Joon-seok and harsh penalties for the crew.

On Monday they concluded putting their case before a court in the city of Gwangju. They argued he did not make any effort to rescue passengers and deserved a death sentence.

The last time divers found a body was on 18 July when a female cook was found in the ferry's cafeteria.

The families of the missing passengers have refused to allow the ship to be hoisted up as they are concerned that the rest of the bodies might be swept out to sea.

Investigators have said a combination of cargo overloading, illegal modification of the vessel and inexperienced helmsmanship was behind the disaster.

The ship's sinking sparked widespread grief and anger in South Korea.

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