SEOUL- A diver died Tuesday while working at a ferry disaster site in South Korea as further details emerged about how deception and negligence contributed to the April 16 tragedy.
The 53-year-old was on his first dive at the site and suffered breathing difficulties after reaching a depth of 25 metres (82 feet), coastguard spokesman Ko Myung-Suk told journalists.
The diver, who was identified only by his surname Lee, lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at a hospital, Ko added.
Full details of what happened have yet to emerge but Yonhap news agency reported he was a veteran crew member of private firm Undine Marine Industries, a specialist in maritime rescue work.
Lee was the first victim among scores of divers who have been engaged in the grim task of finding and retrieving bodies from the sunken ship in hazardous and challenging conditions such as fast currents and silty water.
Some 10 other divers have received treatment for exhaustion and decompression sickness since the operation began.
It has been 20 days since the 6,825-tonne Sewol capsized and sank with 476 people on board — most of them schoolchildren — off the southern coast.