Data restored from 2 Sewol mobile phones

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Data restored from 2 Sewol mobile phones

A committee investigating the hull of the salvaged Sewol ferry said Friday that it has successfully restored media files and other data from at least two mobile phones found inside the wrecked ship.

The Sewol Ferry Investigation Committee convened a sub-committee meeting on the remains and belongings in the port of Mokpo, 410 kilometers (255 miles) south of Seoul, and discussed how to handle photo, video, voice and text message files restored from two smartphones recovered from the wreck, officials said.

The 6,800-ton Sewol ferry sank off the country’s southwestern coast near Jindo Island on April 16, 2014, claiming the lives of 304 people, mostly high school students on a school excursion.

The wreckage was raised from the bottom of the sea in March this year and brought to a dry dock in Mokpo in April.

According to officials, forensic experts restored 142,162 photos, 2,952 text messages, eight videos and 409 voice files from one of the two smartphones, which ceased to operate at 10:01 a.m. on April 16, 2014.

The unnamed user had checked his or her messages until 9:29 a.m., with unread files including messages from families or acquaintances praying for their safety.

One of the unread messages says, “Don’t die. Please be alive.”

Another handset, which stopped operation at 9:47 a.m. on the same day, also contained similar volumes of various data, officials said.

The content and other details of the restored media files were not disclosed.

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