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Number of missing people revised up in S.Korean ferry sinking disaster

English.news.cn   2014-05-08 10:21:40

JINDO, South Korea, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The number of missing people in the South Korean ferry sinking disaster was revised up as two Chinese nationals aboard the ill-fated vessel were found later, head of the South Korean coast guard said Thursday.

There was no change in the total number of passengers, but the number of missing rose by two people, with those rescued falling by two, Coast Guard chief Kim Seok-kyunsaid in an interim report on rescue operations.

As of Thursday, 269 people have been confirmed dead, leaving 35 others still missing. The number of those saved was 172.

The number of those rescued fell by two due to a double report and a mistaken calculation. The number of missing rose by two as two Chinese nationals unregistered in the passenger list were added, Kim said.

A total of four Chinese nationals were on board the ferry, which capsized and sank off the country's southwestern coast on April 16.

All of four bodies were recovered from the submerged vessel, and among them were one Chinese man and one woman who were aboard the ship with their car. Those aboard a ship with a car are allowed to register a number plate without providing personal information to the ship operator.

Even though the coast guard already knew about the recovered Chinese nationals, it disclosed the revised figure belatedly. The coast guard said it needed time to confirm the total number exactly.

In the 23rd day into search, no bodies were retrieved overnight as climatic conditions became worse in the area.

Koh Myung-seok, spokesman of the pan-government accident response center, told a press briefing that divers have stood by overnight as waves were high and strong winds were blowing.

Divers will be able to plunge into waters in the afternoon to search passenger cabins on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the five-story vessel along with communal spaces such as restaurants and toilets, Koh said.

The number of injured divers kept rising as they were exhausted amid the protracted search operations. Six more divers received decompression treatment on Wednesday, sending the total number of those injured to 24.

Editor: Xiang Bo
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