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Death toll from ferry sinking rises to 285

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Published : 2014-05-17 12:51
Updated : 2014-05-17 12:51

Rescue divers brought out one more body early Saturday morning from a ferry that sank off South Korea's southwest coast last month, bringing the confirmed death toll to 285, government officials said.

   The body of one man was retrieved in early morning search operations, according to the officials. The number of those who remain unaccounted for in one of the country's worst maritime disasters dropped to 19.

   The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol carrying an estimated 476 passengers capsized and sank off the southwestern island of Jindo on April 16, with only 172 people rescued on the day of the sinking.

   The Navy, Coast Guard and civilian divers plan to resume their search for the missing 19 people at low tide later in the day.

   Waves in the area were expected to reach around 0.5 meter on Saturday, with wind blowing at a speed of 4 to 8 meters per second, according to meteorological authorities.

   Twelve new civilian divers will additionally join the national rescue team on Saturday to replace a batch of other civilian divers who withdrew from the search operations a day earlier, the government officials said.

   The new divers will be deployed as early as Saturday after an examination of their credentials and health conditions, they said.

   One civilian diver, meanwhile, was rushed to a hospital after complaining of decompression sickness. He is the fourth civilian diver to be sent to a hospital for treatment after the rescue operation started a month ago. (Yonhap News)

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