Atleast 103 Dead; 199 People Still Missing in Sinking of South Korean Ferry

Wednesday, March 16, 2014, went down in history as one of the worst ferry accidents in South Korea’s ferry history. At least 103 people have died and 199 others remain missing. Many of them are students and teachers on a field trip from a high school near Seoul. South Korea’s Presidents says that the ferry sinking was a “murderous, unforgivable act” committed by the captain and crew members. . The captain initially told passengers to stay in their rooms and waited more than half an hour to issue an evacuation order as the ferry Sewol sank Wednesday. By then the ship had tilted so much that many of the roughly 240 people missing are believed to be trapped inside and 103 are left dead and the toll is likely to continue to rise, leaving more families in anguish. 

The latest arrests of crew members bring the total number detained to seven as authorities investigate what went wrong on the ship. A radio transcript released by authorities suggested that passengers on the ship couldn’t reach lifeboats to escape because the ship tilted so quickly that it left many of them unable to move. The captain is defending his decision to delay the evacuation because it was a fast situation where no rescue ship was sent and no neighboring ships were near to assist him in the situation. 

The captain was one of at least 174 people rescued soon after the Sewol began to sink, violating an “internationally recognized rule that a captain must stay on the vessel. The captain is facing charges including negligence and causing injuries leading to deaths. He is also charged with Mr. Lee is charged with causing the Sewol ship to sink by failing to slow down while sailing the narrow route and making a turn excessively. 

Although 174 people were rescued soon after the vessel sank Wednesday, no survivors have been found since.After divers found a way into the submerged ship, search crews have been bringing ashore body after body.They are carried onto the dock one by one, tied up in identical white bags.Family members of the missing passengers wait anxiously, bracing themselves.The bodies are put on a stretcher, draped with a blanket and taken up a gravel path.

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