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Number of confirmed dead tops 200

Tuesday - 4/29/2014, 10:39am  ET

JINDO, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's government has raised the confirmed death toll from the ferry disaster to 204, with about 100 other passengers still missing nearly two weeks after the accident.

Divers are largely using their hands to feel for remaining bodies as they make their way through a maze of dark cabins, stairwells, storage rooms, lounges and restaurants in the submerged ferry. They are still fighting strong currents swirling around the overturned vessel. Inside, there's debris including overturned furniture and mattresses.

South Korea's president today apologized for the government initial response to the sinking -- saying that the response was "insufficient." The apology -- and the earlier resignation of the country's prime minister -- followed claims by victims' relatives that the government didn't do enough to rescue or protect their loved ones.

Investigators are expanding their probe into the cause of the sinking and the initial response by emergency workers. And prosecutors say they're analyzing calls between crew members of the ferry and the offices of the ship's owner. They say multiple crew members on the ferry communicated about seven times with the company's offices in the minutes after the first distress call was made.

%@AP Links

054-c-14-(Foster Klug (kloog), AP correspondent)-"widespread than that"-AP correspondent Foster Klug reports emotions are running high in South Korea in the aftermath of the ferry disaster. (29 Apr 2014)


053-c-15-(Foster Klug (kloog), AP correspondent)-"high school students"-AP correspondent Foster Klug reports as the nation mourns, South Korea's president has issued a new statement on the ferry sinking that left more than 300 people missing or dead. (29 Apr 2014)


APPHOTO SEL108: High school students pay tribute to the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol at a group memorial altar in Ansan, south of Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologized Tuesday for the government's inept initial response to a deadly ferry sinking as divers fought strong currents in their search for nearly 100 passengers still missing nearly two weeks after the accident.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) (29 Apr 2014)

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