World
S.Korea ferry crew could face murder charges
Publish Date: Apr 21, 2014
S.Korea ferry crew could face murder charges
The Korea ferry disaster crew could face murder charges. FILE PHOTO
  • mail
  • img
newvision

SEOUL- South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said Monday that the behaviour of the captain and crew of the ferry that capsized five days ago with 476 people on board was unacceptable and "tantamount to murder".
 
"The actions of the captain and some crew members were utterly incomprehensible, unacceptable and tantamount to murder," the presidential Blue House quoted Park as saying in a meeting with senior aides.
 
Park said it was increasingly clear that Captain Lee Joon-Seok had unnecessarily delayed the evacuation of passengers as the ferry started sinking, and then "deserted them" by escaping first.
 
Lee was arrested on Saturday along with a helmsman and the ship's relatively inexperienced third officer, who was in charge of the bridge when the ship first ran into trouble.
 
Fresh indications show that the evacuation was delayed by panic and indecision, as the death toll from the disaster pushed past 60 with hundreds still missing.
 
"Precious minutes just wasted," ran the front page headline in the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper, in response to a communications transcript released Sunday revealing the confusion as the crew and marine traffic control debated evacuating the sinking vessel.
 
While an unidentified crew member repeatedly asked if there were coastguard vessels on hand to rescue anyone who abandoned ship, the marine controller insisted the crew check that passengers had donned lifejackets and extra clothes.
 
At one point the marine controller stressed that only the captain could make a call on evacuating the 6,825-tonne Sewol as it listed sharply over before eventually capsizing.
 
"When it comes to evacuation, you, captain, make the final judgement," the controller said.
 
The captain and crew -- most of whom escaped the ferry -- have faced vehement criticism for delaying the order to abandon ship -- a possibly fatal error of judgement before the vessel fully submerged with hundreds trapped on board.
 
The confirmed death toll from the disaster rose to 64 on Monday morning, with 238 people still unaccounted for.
 
Coastguard officials said 24 bodies had been removed from the ship which sank on Wednesday morning, but hundreds more were still believed trapped inside.
 
AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Nuns go public for first time in 150 years
A group of Ecuadoran nuns opened the doors of their convent to the outside world Saturday - a first since the order arrived in the South American country 150 years ago....
Obama’s cool-in-a-crisis style – asset or liability?
Obama''s cool-in-a-crisis style and disdain for the impulsive use of military force is fueling criticism of his leadership....
Ukraine rebels prepare attack as EU warns Russia of new sanctions
Pro-Russian separatists were preparing a fresh offensive on a key coastal location in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, as EU leaders gave Moscow one week to curb its support for the rebels or face new sanctions....
EU readies new Russia sanctions as Ukraine conflict spirals
The European Union geared up a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia on Saturday with warnings that the escalating conflict in Ukraine was putting all of Europe at risk of war....
Deadly Ebola hits 5th West African nation
The deadly Ebola epidemic has spread to a fifth country in West Africa with the first confirmed case of the deadly virus in Senegal....
UN chief slams
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has slammed "brutal killings of civilians" by Islamic State jihadists in northern Iraq, saying the Sunni radical group was tearing apart whole communities....
Do you think the National Census positively contributes to improved Livelihood in Uganda?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter