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Death toll from South Korea ferry disaster rises to 236

Seoul, May 4 (): Amid concerns that some of the missing may never be found, eight more bodies have been recovered on Saturday by the efforts put in by the civilian divers, coast guard and navy from the ferry, the Sewol, that sank off South Korea’s south-western island of Jindo last month on 16 April, reports said.

Yonhap news agency said after seventeen days the 6,825-tonne ferry, the Sewol, overturned and sank; so far 236 people have been confirmed dead with 66 still unaccounted for.

On Saturday, divers fought against strong wind and currents to search the unopened rooms of the sunken South Korean ferry for the missing passengers.

The divers are focusing on opening six rooms in the 3rd and 4th floors while the searched places were also combed again, said Ko Myung-seok, spokesperson of emergency task force. The task force has finished its search in 58 out of 64 target areas.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries’ spokesman, Park Seung-ki said the ferry’s bedding materials were found on Friday at a distance of 30km from the tragedy site. As days go by, the debris and personal belongings from the ferry have been seen further and further away, increasing concerns that tough currents may have brushed some bodies into the open sea. In a precautionary effort, the recovery workers have put up net rings around the place days ago.

Park said families of the missing are worried about the condition of the lost bodies, as so much time has passed. The government is also taking efforts to ease the mental pain of the families and help them keep better memories of the victims by providing restoration facilities of the damaged bodies.

The South Korean passenger ferry was carrying 476 people, mostly from a single high school, when it sank on April 16. The disaster has shocked the South Korean nation to its core. Public frustration and anger has intensified and irresponsibility has been blamed for the poor management of the disaster.