Rescue workers on Tuesday discovered another body believed to be one of the missing people who were on board an ambulance chopper that crashed into the East Sea five days ago, maritime police said.
According to the Korea Coast Guard East Regional Headquarters, a remotely operated vehicle of the Navy's submarine rescue ship Cheonghaejin located a body from the site of the chopper crash shortly after Monday midnight but unsuccessfully attempted to retrieve it due to unstable electronic signals.
The naval ship plans to resume its retrieval operation as soon as the signal glitches are repaired.
The ill-fated ambulance helicopter owned by the National 119 Rescue Headquarters was carrying seven people, including an injured person, when it crashed into the East Sea on Thursday night shortly after taking off from the easternmost islets of Dokdo. The rescue chopper was on a mission to save the patient from a fishing boat.
Over the weekend, rescue workers retrieved two bodies, identified as the chopper's co-pilot and chief mechanic, and its fuselage from the waters.
Coast Guard officials speculate that the third body found there was the one that was lost during Sunday's fuselage salvage operation after being trapped inside the chopper.
They said a rescue team consisting of 20 Coast Guard and naval vessels, six aircraft and three drones will continue to search for other people remaining missing and plans to additionally salvage the chopper's black box and tail parts, found at a location about 114 meters from the crash site, to help determine the cause of the crash.
The crashed chopper, an EC-225 Super Puma long-range passenger transport helicopter built by France-based Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, was imported to South Korea in 2016. (Yonhap)