South Korea ferry: 108 bodies retrieved

THE confirmed death toll from the South Korean ferry that capsized last week has reached 108, as divers recovered more bodies from the sunken hull.

Rescuers searching for bodies have been able to take advantage of better weather on Tuesday, officials say, with more than 190 passengers still missing or presumed trapped inside the vessel.

The ferry tipped over and sank within two hours, but it is not yet clear why.

The crew have been criticised for allegedly failing to save passengers.

Seven have been detained and five have been charged with not fulfilling their duty to evacuate passengers safely, officials told the South Korean Yonhap news agency.

As the ship listed passengers were told to remain in rooms and cabins, reports suggest, amid confusion on the bridge over whether to order them to abandon ship.

The first distress call from the sinking ferry was made by a boy with a shaking voice, officials told Reuters.

It reported that his plea for help was followed by about 20 other emergency calls from children on board the ship.

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