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Ferry disaster: Confirmed dead surpasses 200 Updated: 2014-04-30 10:05:46 KST

Ferry disaster: Confirmed dead surpasses 200
We start with the latest updates regarding the Sewol-ho ferry disaster
The number of confirmed dead has now surpassed the 200-mark two weeks after the sinking.
And as of this Wednesday morning, more than ninty people remain unaccounted for.
More bodies were retrieved overnight despite poor tidal and weather conditions at the accident site.
For more on this and other updates, let's now connect live to our Connie Lee at the news center.
Connie, fill us in on the latest

Good afternoon Jinjoo, Mark- the total number of people confirmed dead stands at two-hundred-and-ten.
Search officials and divers retrieved a dozen bodies late Tuesday and early this morning, five more bodies were recovered.
Officials say most of the victims were found in the lobby of the FIFTH floor of the sunken ferry an area that was not expected to have that many passengers.
What we know is that most of the retrieved bodies were male students from Danwon High School- where most of the passengers were from.
As of now search offficials say they've gone through more than half of the 64 rooms or compartments where the missing passengers are believed to be.
There are 92-people still unaccounted for.

Connie, you said most of the passengers were found on the 5th flooran area where they didn't expect to find anyone. Why do officials think divers found a lot of bodies there?

As you remember, Mark the search and recovery process mostly focused on the 4th floor because the most of the students from Danwon High School stayed in cabins on that floor.
But officials themselves were surprised to see many bodies on the lobby's 5th floor.
According to the commander of the recovery operation he thinks the bodies found in the lobby were of students from the foor below.

"As the waters started coming in, instinctly the students probably rushed to the upper floor"

Looking at a mock-up blueprint of the ship the lobby, or where most of the latest bodies were found is right by the stairwell.
So it does make sense that students who were inside their cabins on the 4th floor tried to escape the waters rushing in by making their way up the stairs and onto the fifth floor.
But unfortunately, they were not able to get out.
Officials say they have now expanded their search area, to look at that floor more intently.

It's just awful to imagine the terror those students must have felt in those last moments. This tragedy could have possibly been avoided as they had enough time to escape. I hear the families of the victims have issued a statement?

Yes a representative of the parents who lost their children in the ferry released a statement early today asking the public to no longer "feel sorry" for them.
And for those people who have apologized for the disaster.. including some of the ferry's crew.. and even President Park.
the families say they want action not just apologies. from those involved.
Also for those who want to help these affected families financially they actually want all the funds to go to a scholarship program and a memorial park that will be installed in honor of the students.

It'll be nice to see the money raised going to a good cause and a memorial that will remember the victims forever. What's the latest on the criminal investigation invovling the crew members?

As you know all 15 surviving crew members responsible for navigating the ferry are in custody, and are facing charges,, including negligence and abandoning passengers.
And today Investigators are now looking into phone logs between the crew on the sinking ferry and the ferry's employer the Chonghaejin Marine Company.
Prosecutors say that multiple crew members on the ferry communicated about SEVEN times by phone with employer officials when the ship was listing.
THe first call was made around 9 A-M just minutes after the ferry reported its first distress call to coast guards.
And the last call by a crew member to its employer was made around 9-40 AM.
Investigators are looking into WHY the calls were made and what the conversations were about.//
That's all I have for you right now from the news center back to you Jin-joo and Mark.
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