Five bodies found in waters near bus wreckage

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Five bodies found in waters near bus wreckage

Authorities looking for the passengers on a bus that was swept away on Monday after it was washed into a flooded river in Changwon, South Gyeongsang, have so far found five bodies in their three-day search.

According to black box footage acquired from the bus and missing persons reports filed with the police, seven people were in the bus when it was washed away, but only one of them, a 19-year-old woman, was found dead in the wreckage, which got caught on a bridge. A combined response team, comprised of the police, the fire department and the Coast Guard, has dispatched more than 300 men, as well as boats and aircraft, to the scene and the shore of the coastal town to look for the missing.

Rescuers managed to recover a body on Tuesday and four others the next day. The first body found on Tuesday was that of a 20-year-old passenger, identified only by her surname Kim. She was found dead at a fish farm floating in coastal waters about 3 to 4 kilometers (1.86 to 2.49 miles) away from where the wreck was recovered.

Four corpses were also discovered yesterday in nearby waters.

The 52-year-old driver of the bus, identified by his surname Jeong, was found dead in the morning, and the body of a 40-year-old man, surnamed Park, was also discovered in the water later that day. Authorities further retrieved the corpse of a woman presumably in her 30s, believed to be Park’s wife, and another of a woman believed to be in her 60s.

The accident followed torrential rains that hit the southeastern region on Monday. The heavy downpour, at more than 100 millimeters (3.94 inches) per hour, not only washed the bus away, but also caused landslides and flooded lower parts of the region, killing four others in Busan.

With five more bodies discovered over the past two days, the overall death toll caused by the torrential rains totaled 10 on Monday.

BY KIM BONG-MOON [bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]



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