Ferry Relatives Give DNA Swabs To Help Identify The Dead

Families of the hundreds of people still missing in the South Korea ferry disaster gave DNA samples to help officials identify bodies.

Ferry Relatives Give DNA Swabs To Help Identify The Dead

As rescuers scramble to retrieve bodies from the ferry that sank off the coast of South Korea, relatives of the missing passengers are doing anything they can to help as they wait for any news on their loved ones.

"Relatives of more than 200 people missing in a sunken South Korean ferry offer DNA swabs to help identify the dead." (Via Al Jazeera)

According to CNN, medical teams collected DNA samples Saturday from family members inside a tent on the island of Jindo, where relatives and survivors have gathered since the ferry capsized.

But there's very little hope that anyone else will be found alive.

It's been four days since the ferry sank, and more than 270 people are still missing in the now completely submerged wreckage. (Via PBS)

Crews pumped compressed air into the sunken ferry Friday in the hopes that someone might need it, but the search for survivors has turned into a mission to recover the dead. (Via BBC)

Officials have confirmed the death toll now sits at 32, but they expect that number to grow as divers continue to search the ship.‚Äč (Via Sky News)

But they've had a difficult time so far. The South Korean coast guard told reporters divers found three bodies floating inside a passenger cabin on Saturday but couldn't break the glass to get to them. (Via The Washington Post)

Two of those bodies were recovered during another dive later that day, and divers are expected to resume their search for more as soon as possible. (Via CNN)

Officials are still unsure exactly what caused the ferry to suddenly capsize that day, but an investigation is now underway.

The ship's captain and two other crew members were taken into custody Saturday in connection with the disaster. (Via Fox News)

State media report the captain has been formally charged with abandoning his boat, negligence, causing bodily injury, not seeking rescue from other ships and violating what's known as "seamen's law." (Via Euronews)

According to several reports, the captain was not in the steering room when the ferry started to go down. Instead, his third mate was at the wheel — and prosecutors say it was his first time navigating those waters. (Via The New York Times, Arirang, The Guardian)

If the captain is convicted on all charges, he could reportedly face a maximum sentence of life in prison.