JINDO, South Korea, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Death toll from a sunken South Korean ferry surged to 87 on Monday night as divers made intensive search operation inside the submerged hull, the Coast Guard said.
Divers scoured passenger cabins on the third and fourth floors of the five-story vessel, which sank near Jindo Island off South Korea's southwestern coast on Wednesday morning.
A total of 22 bodies, 4 male and 18 female, were retrieved from the passenger cabins during the nighttime search and rescue operations. Among them were two male foreigners.
So far, 87 people have been confirmed dead, with 215 others still missing. The number of the rescued remained unchanged at 174.
No survivors have been found inside the ship which capsized en route to the southern resort island of Jeju from the western port of Inchon with 476 people on board mostly high school students.
The pan-government emergency response center said in a press release that coast guard, military and private divers will be deployed on Monday night and early Tuesday morning to the passenger cabins.
Koh Myung-seok, spokesman of the center, said earlier Monday that search will pick up speed given favorable weather conditions and guideline ropes.
Five guideline ropes were installed Sunday to enable divers to enter the sunken ferry at a faster pace than before.
President Park likens what sunken ferry's captain did as murder
SEOUL, April 21 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun- hye likened what captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry did as murder on Monday, vowing to force those responsible to shoulder legal responsibilities regardless of ranks. "What captain and some crew members did was like an act of murder that cannot be acceptable and permissible from a common-sense standpoint,"Park said during a meeting with senior secretaries.
Park said it was an unthinkable act both legally and ethically for them to order passengers to stay put when they abandoned passengers and left the vessel. Full story
Four more crew members of sunken S. Korean ferry arrested
JINDO, South Korea, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Four more crew members of the South Korean ferry that capsized and sank off the country's southwestern coast last Wednesday were arrested on Monday over negligence of duty and violation of rescue acts charges.
Prosecutors have arrested four crew members, including two first mates, one second mate and one chief engineer, of the ferry Sewol, which was upturned and sank off Jindo Island, a southwestern tip of South Korea. Full story