Monday , 19 February 2018
Captain, crew accused of abandoning sinking ferry

Captain, crew accused of abandoning sinking ferry

TOKYO — The mother and father of a whole lot of youngsters lacking after yesterday’s (April sixteen) ferry accident off the coast of South Korea have accused the captain of the vessel of abandoning passengers after it emerged that he and 6 different crew members have been among the many first to go away the ship after it began to sink.

The captain, Mr Lee Joon-seok, who’s reportedly in his 60s, escaped from the S,835-ton Sewol at about N:30am on Wednesday, simply forty minutes after the vessel apparently ran aground and began to record severely.

Survivors and the households of 287 individuals, most of them youngsters, who’re considered trapped contained in the sunken vessel directed their anger in the direction of Mr Lee, in accordance with South Korean media reviews, as rescue efforts continued within the dim hope that a few of the lacking passengers may nonetheless be alive.

Local officers stated 287 individuals remained unaccounted for greater than a day after the vessel, with 475 on board, shortly sank in what could also be South Korea’s worst ferry catastrophe for 20 years. Nine individuals, together with 4 17-yr-previous highschool pupils and a instructor, are recognized to have died, whereas 179 have been confirmed protected, together with a lot of the 30 crew members, South Korean media stated.

Distraught mother and father who travelled to the southern island of Jindo to be close to the scene of the accident reacted angrily to studies that the ship’s passengers, together with 325 pupils from Danwon highschool within the Seoul suburb of Ansan, had initially been advised to remain of their cabins slightly than head to the emergency exits.

A crew member stated an evacuation order had been issued half-hour after the accident, however a number of survivors stated they didn’t hear any directions to desert ship. There was hypothesis that the order was not relayed to passengers on the general public tackle system.

Some relations threw water on the South Korean prime minister, Mr Chung Hong-gained, throughout a go to to the Jindo gymnasium. “How dare you come right here together with your chin up?” one screamed at him. “Would you reply like this if your personal youngster was in that ship?”

Another blocked Mr Chung’s path as he tried to go away, saying: “Don’t run away, Mr Prime Minister! Please inform us what you’re planning on doing.”

A rescued pupil confirmed that passengers had been advised to remain of their seats or cabins after the ship struck what might have been an underwater rock and commenced to listing.

“We should have waited 30 to forty minutes after the crew informed us to remain put,” the pupil stated. “Then every part tilted over and everybody began screaming and scrambling to get out.”

Another passenger, Mr Koo Bon-hee, stated extra individuals may need escaped had there been an instantaneous evacuation order.

“The rescue wasn’t executed properly. We have been sporting life jackets. We had time,” stated Mr Koo, 36, who was on his strategy to Jeju island — the ship’s meant vacation spot – on a enterprise journey with a colleague.

“If individuals had jumped into the water … they might have been rescued. But we have been advised to not exit.”

But as an alternative of ordering passengers to go away, officers on the bridge have been making an attempt to stabilise the vessel, a crew member stated.

Mr Lee, his face hidden by a gray hoodie, informed reporters on the coastguard workplaces that he felt “actually sorry for the passengers, victims and their households and am deeply ashamed. I don’t know what to say.” He had earlier been criticised after he was seen drying moist banknotes on his mattress whereas being interviewed by journalists.

Mr Kim Jae-in, a coastguard spokesman, stated coastguard officers have been questioning Ms Lee, however denied earlier stories that the ferry had turned too swiftly when it was imagined to make a sluggish flip. He additionally declined to say whether or not the ferry had strayed from its typical route.

The tragedy was given added poignancy by textual content messages despatched by pupils who’re amongst these considered trapped contained in the ship. “Sending this in case I might not be capable of say this once more. Mum, I love you,” stated Shin Young-jin.

Kim Woong-ki, a sixteen-yr-previous pupil pleaded together with his brother to assist in a textual content despatched after the ship listed abruptly to at least one aspect. “My room is tilting about forty five levels. My cellular shouldn’t be working very nicely,” Kim texted. His brother tried to reassure him, saying: “So don’t panic and simply do no matter you’re advised to do. Then you’ll be high-quality.”

An 18-yr-previous feminine pupil recognized solely as Shin texted her father to inform him to not fear. “I’m sporting a life vest and am with different women. We’re contained in the ship, nonetheless within the hallway,” she informed him. Her father’s response, urging her to get out, arrived too late.

“Dad, I can’t,” she stated in her remaining message. “The ship is just too tilted. The hallway is crowded with so many individuals.”

The Sewol’s wreckage is in waters simply north of Byeongpung island, situated about 470km from Seoul.

Navy divers tried to enter the capsized ship greater than 10 occasions in the present day, however have been hampered by robust currents and poor visibility.

Three vessels outfitted with cranes are as a result of arrive tomorrow to assist with the rescue and salvage the ship. The rescue operation now includes 169 boats, together with 26 navy ships, and 29 plane, Mr Kang Byung-kyu, the minister for safety and public administration, was quoted as saying by Yonhap.


Captain, crew accused of abandoning sinking ferry
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