Death toll in South Korea ferry disaster soars as divers retrieve bodies from sinking vessel

The official death toll in the South Korea

ferry disaster has now risen to 58 after

divers retrieved more than a dozen bodies

from the sinking vessel.

The new toll came after recovery teams finally

succeeded in finding a way into the sinking

Sewol after being hampered for days by strong

currents, bad weather and low visibility.

Divers had been pumping air into the doomed

ship in the slim hope that survivors might still

be inside.

However, within the space of 24 hours, the

number of dead soared from 33 to 58 – with

some of the bodies being recovered from

outside of the ship.

It is feared the search and rescue operation

has now become the beginning of a grim

recovery effort to find the dead.

News of the death toll comes as a newly-

released transcript also reveals how the ship's

crew was crippled with confusion and

indecision well after the vessel began listing dangerously.

In the space of 30 minutes after the ship

began tilting, the Jindo Vessel Traffic Services

(VTS) was asked on three occasions whether

passengers would be rescued if the crew

abandoned ship off the southern coast of

South Korea.

This followed several statements from the ship

that it was 'impossible' for those trapped on

board to even move and that the crew was

unable to broadcast instructions.

Many people followed the captain's initial

order to stay below deck, where it is feared

they remain trapped.

Just 174 people are known to have survived

the sinking of the Sewol and about 240 are still


The boat had been on its way from the South

Korean port city of Incheon to the southern

island of Jeju.

Lee Joon-seok, the ship's 68-year-old captain,

was arrested yesterday along with one of the

Sewol's three helmsmen and the 25-year-old

third mate, on suspicion of negligence and

abandoning people in need.

The cause of the sinking is not yet known, but

prosecutors said the ship made a sharp turn

before it began to list.


Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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