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Death toll from Korean ferry disaster soars Updated: 2014-04-23 03:41:20 KST

We are now into the eighth day of search and rescue operations.
Rescue teams are still putting all their efforts into finding any possible survivors, but hope is extremely dim given the time that's passed.
The number of confirmed deaths also rose sharply overnight.
For more details, let's go live to our Ji Myung-kil standing by at Paengmok-hang harbor, just 20 kilometers away from the accident site.

Divers were successful in getting into the third floor of the vessel over night where many passengers were believed to be at the time of the accident.
The death toll currently stands at 128.
The third floor is where the lounge and cafeteria are and the fourth floor is where the cabins are and the search operations are continuing.
It's believed many students were in the cafeteria on the third floor as it was breakfast time when the accident occurred.
There were cries of parents throughout the night, wailing and howling for their children after they received reports confirming that their child had died.
More than 170 people remain unaccounted for presumably trapped inside the sunken ferry.
Of that total, nearly 90 percent are students from Danwon High School.

Now this is still officially a rescue mission, how are the operations going?

Rescue teams continued their search and rescue operations throughout the night.
Nearly 900 flares and powerful flood lights from fishing boats helped divers operate in the dark.
Throughout the night divers continued their attempts to enter the vessel using the five guide ropes installed earlier to the ferry.
The divers had a tough time fighting against the strong currents and the low visibility of the water as they are still limited to 20 minutes under water using oxygen masks.
Family representatives of missing passengers and five government agencies agreed to establish temporary mortuaries at this harbor for funeral services
This was Ji Myung-kil, reporting from Paengmok-hang harbor.


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