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S. Korea lowers survivor count in ferry disaster

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 7, 2014 at 7:27 a.m.

SEOUL, South Korea — Three weeks after South Korea's ferry tragedy, the government on Wednesday said it miscounted the number of survivors, the latest of many missteps that have eroded the nation's confidence in its leaders.

Coast guard chief Kim Suk-kyoon said only 172 people survived the April 16 sinking of the ferry Sewol — not 174, as the government had been saying since April 18.

Kim said one of the survivors was accidentally listed twice, and he blamed the other mistake on an inaccurate report by a passenger.

Another coast guard officer said the passenger falsely told authorities he had been traveling with someone who had sneaked on board and therefore was not on the ship's list of passengers. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because she wasn't authorized to speak to media on the matter. She said the passenger later told officials he gave wrong information because he had "lost track of things."

Kim also said there are two more missing passengers than authorities previously knew about. Both are Chinese nationals.


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