"Divers will be able to plunge into waters Thursday afternoon to search passenger cabins on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the five-storey vessel along with communal spaces such as restaurants and toilets, Koh said."
Seoul, May 8 - The number of people missing in the South Korean ferry sinking disaster rose after two unregistered Chinese nationals onboard were detected to be missing, authorities said Thursday.

There was no change in the total number of passengers, but the number of those missing has risen, Xinhua cited from an interim report on rescue operations by Coast Guard chief Kim Seok-kyun.

As of Thursday, 269 people have been confirmed dead, while 35 are still missing. The number of those saved was 172.

The number of those rescued fell by two due to a double report and a mistaken calculation. The number of missing rose by two as two Chinese nationals unregistered in the passenger list were added, Kim said.

A total of four Chinese nationals were onboard the ferry, which sank off the country's southwestern coast April 16.

On the 23rd day into search, no bodies were retrieved overnight as climatic conditions became worse in the area.

Koh Myung-seok, spokesman of the accident response centre, told a press briefing that divers have stood by overnight as waves were high and strong winds were blowing.

Divers will be able to plunge into waters Thursday afternoon to search passenger cabins on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the five-storey vessel along with communal spaces such as restaurants and toilets, Koh said.

The number of injured divers kept rising as they were exhausted amid the protracted search operations. Six more divers received decompression treatment Wednesday, taking the total number of those injured to 24.


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