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[Ferry Disaster] Divers enter Sewol, death toll rises to 87

Divers recovered 22 more bodies from the wreckage of the ferry Sewol late Monday, pushing the death toll up to 87.

The bodies have yet to be identified but authorities suspect that many of them are students from Danwon High School in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province.
With Monday’s discoveries, the number of unaccounted for passengers now stands at 215. More than 200 of the missing are expected to be Danwon High School students and teachers who were on their way to Jejudo Island on a school trip.

The rescue workers at the scene, some 20 kilometers off the coast of Jindo Island, South Jeolla Province, are continuing their search.

According to the central response team, the divers secured a route into the ship’s dining area at about 6 a.m. and they attempted to access the area starting around noon.

The authorities deployed 214 ships and 32 aircraft to continue the search, and send in several teams of divers simultaneously to comb through the third and fourth decks of the ship.

In addition, remotely-operated vehicles are to be sent into the ship.

The weather, which has hampered efforts, is set to subside with waves of 0.5 meters and wind speed of between 5 meters and 8 meters per second expected in the area.

The search operations that continued throughout Sunday night had little results.

The Coast Guard said that 214 ships and 35 aircrafts were deployed from Sunday night into the early hours of Monday to conduct searches over the waters surrounding the sunken ferry. In addition, 151 civilian and military divers conducted underwater searches.

However, no signs of survivors have been detected.

By Choi He-suk (