Seoul, May 1: The toll rose Thursday to 213 in the South Korean ferry disaster in which the 6,825-ton passenger ship sank off the country’s southwestern coast.
As of Thursday afternoon, 213 people have been confirmed dead, leaving 89 others still missing, Xinhua reported. There has been no rescue reported since 174 people were saved from sea after the ship sank April 16.
On the 16th day into the search Thursday, only one more body was recovered from the submerged ship as search operations were hampered by swift currents and murky waters.
From 3 p.m., divers resumed search for bodies trapped inside as tidal currents became slower.
Divers completed search operations in 44 passenger cabins of the total 64 on the third and fourth floors of the five-storey vessel. The cabins were believed to have accommodated most of the remaining unaccounted for.
Search and rescue operations have been hampered by rapid currents and floating objects. Waters near the scene are known for the country’s second-fastest currents.
As the ferry tilted underwater to the port side at some 90 degrees to the surface, the search was wrapped up for the right and the middle sides of the ship.
A total of 47 divers were conducting search operations, while 198 rescue ships and 37 airplanes were deployed to help search possible bodies swept far away from the scene. One body was found in waters around two km from the scene.