Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

Updated: 2014-04-22 10:58


Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

A family member of missing passengers (C) who were on the South Korean passenger ferry Sewol, which sank in the sea off Jindo, prays toward the sea at a port where family members of missing passengers gathered, in Jindo April 21, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

JINDO, South Korea - Death toll in a South Korean ferry sinking accident surged to 104 on Tuesday morning as 17 bodies were pulled out of the submerged vessel during overnight search operations.

Divers began conducting underwater search operations from around 6:30 am local time.

So far, 104 people have been confirmed dead, with 198 others still missing. The number of the rescued remained unchanged at 174.

Around 550 divers will be dispatched to search bodies and possible survivors inside the ship, while 212 ships and 34 airplanes will be deployed.

Climatic conditions are forecast to be favorable for search operations. Water temperature is at 13 degrees Celsius, and waves are 0.5 meter high. Tidal currents are 1.5 knots.

Divers began entering and searching inside the submerged vessel from Monday, but it led to a surge in death toll. On Monday alone, 28 bodies were retrieved from the ferry.

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