SEOUL, South Korea – DNA tests on bones found in ferry wreckage recently raised from the sea identified a South Korean high school student missing since the 2014 sinking that killed 304 people, officials said Thursday.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said the bones were confirmed as from Cho Eun-hwa, who was among the 249 students from the same school who died when the ferry Sewol sank on April 16, 2014.
She was the third victim identified since salvage workers raised the sunken ferry in March. Earlier DNA and forensic tests confirmed the identities of another student and a teacher. The remains of two other students, another teacher, a woman, a man and his 6-year-old son have yet to be identified.
Divers recovered 295 bodies before the government stopped underwater searches from the ferry's wreckage and nearby seas seven months after the sinking, leaving nine passengers unaccounted for.
The ferry disaster touched off outrage over what was seen as a botched rescue and eventually contributed to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye. The ferry's captain survived and is serving a life sentence after a court found him guilty of committing homicide through "willful negligence" because he fled the ship without ordering others to evacuate the ferry too.