Confirmed death toll climbs to 33; about 270 missing

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Associated Press

Posted on April 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Updated Saturday, Apr 19 at 12:04 PM

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — The number of confirmed dead in the South Korean ferry disaster has risen to 33, with some 270 still missing.

Four bodies were found today in the murky waters near the sunken vessel.

The ferry sank off South Korea's southern coast Wednesday with 476 people aboard, most of them students from a single high school. Many of the missing are believed to be trapped inside the ferry, but divers fighting strong currents and rain have been unable to get to them.

The ship's captain has been arrested on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two crew members also were taken into custody today, including a rookie third mate who a prosecutor said was steering in challenging waters unfamiliar to her when the accident occurred.

Relatives of the missing expressed their anger at officials holding a briefing today. A few dozen people surged toward the stage, hurling rapid-fire questions at the officials. One man tried to choke a coast guard lieutenant and punch a maritime policeman, but missed.

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