JINDO, South Korea, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Death toll in a South Korean ferry sinking disaster continued to rise to 236 on Saturday as rescue operations lasted despite rapid currents and floating objects.
As of Saturday evening, 236 people have been confirmed dead as eight more bodies were recovered from the sunken vessel. The number of missing passengers fell to 66, with those rescued remaining unchanged at 174.
The deadly disaster entered the 18th day since the 6,825-ton ferry Sewol capsized off the country's southwestern coast on April 16.
Among 64 passenger cabins where bodies were believed to be trapped inside, 58 cabins have been searched. The remaining cabins were hard to enter as floating objects such as furniture and junks delayed divers' entrance into the rooms.
The area is famous for the second-fastest tidal currents in the country. Divers sought to plunge into waters when the currents became slower.
The 487 passengers aboard the submerged ship included 325 high school students and 24 teachers on their way for a class trip. Nationwide mourning ceremony has been held in a joint memorial altars.
S.Korean PM steps down for gov't response to ferry tragedy
SEOUL, April 27 (Xinhua) -- South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won offers resignation on Sunday over criticism of the government's response to the April 16 Sewol ferry disaster that has left nearly 300 people dead or missing.
"The right thing for me to do is to take responsibility and resign," Chung told a nationally-televised press conference, 11 days after one of the country's worst maritime disasters. Full Story
Floating objects slow recovering bodies from sunken S.Korean ferry
JINDO, South Korea, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Corridors and passenger cabins of the sunken South Korean ferry, which capsized off the country's southwestern coast, were jammed with floating objects, hampering search for bodies trapped inside the hull amid fast currents and bad weather.
As of Saturday night, 187 people have been confirmed dead, and 115 others remained missing. No one has been found alive since 174 passengers and crew were rescued on April 16 when the ferry sank en route to the southern resort island of Jeju from western port of Inchon. Full Story