Over a year after a ferry sank off of the coast of South Korea, the government is planning on launching a multimillion dollar project to recover the remains of the boat. The news comes almost 10 months after the search to recover the bodies of nine people still missing was abandoned.
The April 2014 crash killed 304 people when the Sewol ferry sunk off of Jindo island near the southwest corner of the South Korean peninsula. The main objective of the newly approved recovery, according to Yonhap News, is to recover the nine bodies. A contract for 85.1 billion Won, or about $71.73 million, has been awarded to a consortium led by a state-run Chinese company to salvage the remains.
The boat sunk on April 16, 2014, because the cargo on the ship was not tied on properly and there was too much of it. The sinking resulted in the death of the majority of the 476 passengers on board. Most of the dead were students who were allegedly told to stay in place while the ship was sinking.
The sinking resulted in several criminal investigations of the crew, many of whom were slapped with abandoning ship charges. The captain, Lee Jun Seok, was sentenced to life in prison in April for multiple homicide counts. He was originally convicted of negligence, which the family members of the victim felt was too lenient for the crime.
Determining how exactly to extract the body of the ship from the water will be complicated by the main objective to retrieve the bodies. The process will involve at least two giant nets that will surround the ship to catch any particles that may fall out. Officials will now begin to survey the surrounding area, which could take about two months. The process of removing the ship could be finished by June 2016.