South Korean fishing ship sinking toll touches 20

The toll in the sinking of a South Korean fishing ship rose to 20, with 33 still missing, Seoul`s foreign ministry said Thursday afternoon.

Seoul: The toll in the sinking of a South Korean fishing ship rose to 20, with 33 still missing, Seoul`s foreign ministry said Thursday afternoon.

Eight more bodies were recovered Thursday in waters near the South Korean fishing ship Oryong 501, which sank in the western part of the Bering Sea near Russia Monday, Xinhua reported. 

The bodies included two South Koreans, two Indonesians and two Filipinos and two other unidentified sailors. 

The crew on board the 1,753-tonne fishing vessel, which was catching pollock, included 11 South Koreans, 35 Indonesians, 13 Filipinos and one Russian inspector. 

The toll is expected to increase further due to freezing sea water and stormy weather, which are hampering search and rescue operations. A total of 12 ships are participating in the operation. 

The 36-year-old vessel began listing after bad weather caused seawater to flood the storage parts. The ministry of people`s safety, the country`s controlling authority of disasters, launched an investigation into the maritime accident. 

The ship left the country`s southern port city of Busan July 10 for the Bering Sea to catch pollock. 

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