(CNN) — The death toll in the South Korean ferry disaster has jumped to 248, with 54 people still missing, the government reported Sunday.
The higher death toll comes after four bodies were retrieved from the fourth deck of the Sewol ferry, according to South Korea’s Government Rescue Headquarters.
The search and rescue operation has turned into a grueling recovery of corpses. No one has been found alive since the ferry sank April 16, with a passenger load largely made up of high school students on a field trip.
The work has become even more difficult because divers have faced closed cabin doors blocked by debris, according to the semi-official Yonhap News Agency.
The ferry sank en route from Incheon to the resort island of Jeju, off the nation’s southwestern coast.
By Shelby Lin Erdman