A South Korean state panel that has been investigating the sinking of the Sewol yesterday ended its effort to determine the exact cause of the accident which killed more than 300 passengers, mainly South Korean schoolchildren. The eight-member panel has been sitting for 13 months and played a key role in handling various issues such as searching for missing bodies after the salvage effort to refloat the 6,800 gt ship was completed in April last year.
The investigation looked inside the hull and conducted a number of simulations to find out what made the ship sink. But the panel failed to arrive at a clear conclusion, with the members being split over the cause of the accident. Some argued that the ferry capsized due to a sudden turn and overloading, but others claim that the ship was struck by an unidentified object.
A separate special panel will now take over responsibility and continue fact-finding operations. After the ship was raised from the water, the remains of five missing passengers were found on board.