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South Korean ferry disaster death toll rises to 64 by Sunday

Bishkek (AKIpress) - 09c23e4acfb620a6760891bd52d16e8b_500_0_0 The death toll in a ferry disaster off the South Korean coast rose to 64 on Sunday as divers continued to recover more bodies from the sunken boat, the Associated Press reports.

Divers have had difficulty entering the Sewol ferry, which sank Wednesday off South Korea’s southern coast, because of low visibility, inclement weather and strong currents, according to AP. Divers finally entered the vessel late Saturday and discovered 13 bodies inside along with several more floating near the boat. And their bleak job continues.

About 240 people — many of whom were traveling high school students — remain missing.

The Sewol’s captain and two other crew members were arrested Saturday on suspicion of negligence. A transcript from the vessel’s communication system released Sunday reveals widespread confusion among passengers. Many of those aboard followed the captain’s initial orders to stay below deck, where authorities believe they have been trapped. The captain’s initial instructions for passengers to remain in the cabins have puzzled maritime experts.

It took more than half an hour since trouble was first detected for the captain to issue an evacuation order, which some survivors say they never heard.


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