JINDO, South Korea, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Death toll in the South Korean ferry sinking disaster continued to rise to 159 on Thursday morning as search operations became faster amid favorable climatic conditions.
The ninth day into search, 159 people have been confirmed dead, leaving 143 others still missing. The number of the rescued has been unchanged at 174.
The death toll has been growing faster as search operations were aided by favorable weather conditions.
Waters around Jindo Island, off which the 6,825-ton ferry Sewol capsized and sank on April 16, are famous as the country's second- fastest currents. The tidal currents turned slower since Monday.
On Wednesday alone, 38 bodies were discovered from the submerged vessel, with 36 people being found Tuesday and 28 others retrieved Monday.
Hundreds of divers will devote themselves Thursday to searching bodies, or possible survivors, inside the vessel as the tidal currents were forecast to become faster from Friday. It was expected to rain from Saturday.
Wind was blowing at a speed of 4-7 m/s in the morning and waves are as high as 0.5 meter. Water temperature was at around 12 degrees Celsius.
Hundreds of coast guard, navy and private divers will make all- out efforts to search inside passenger cabins on the fourth floor of the five-story ferry where other missing victims are believed to be trapped.
More than 210 rescue ships and 34 airplanes will scour the waters near the sunken ferry.
SEOUL, April 23 (Xinhua) -- South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday raided the house of the sunken ferry's owner house and affiliates of the ship's operator for alleged corruption and wrongdoings in running the vessel.
A special prosecutor team, which has been investigating into alleged illegalities of the ship's operator, raided home of the ship's beneficial owner, known as Yoo Byung-eon, local media reported. Full story
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. Full story
JINDO, South Korea, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Last-minute communications between a sunken South Korean ferry and a vessel traffic center were disclosed Sunday by the pan-government emergency management headquarters. Full story