South Korean Compares Ferry Disaster to 'Murder'

World | April 21, 2014, Monday // 11:26
Bulgaria: South Korean Compares Ferry Disaster to 'Murder' Photo by EPA/BGNES

The behavior of the captain and crew of the South Korean ferry Sewol that capsized last week is unacceptable and "tantamount to murder", the country's President declared.

Sewol, with 476 people on board, most of them students on a school trip, sank in calm waters on Wednesday. South Korean authorities have confirmed, as of Monday evening local time, the deaths of 64 of the passengers, while 238 are still missing, but slim chances are reported to find anyone else alive.

President Park Geun-hye put the blame on Lee Joon-seok for having unnecessarily delayed the evacuation of passengers.

She described as "utterly unimaginable, legally and ethically", Lee's decision to "desert them" by escaping first.

South Korea's President made clear all parties to the disaster would be held accountable.

South Korean police arrested Sunday the captain, a helmsman and a third officer, with three more crew members taken into custody during the next day.

Also on Sunday, relatives of those missing in the sunken ferry clashed with police amid a protest over the inefficiency of the rescue operation.

During a visit by Prime Minister Chung Hong-wo, family members and friends of people on board expressed their anger at both him and President Park Geun-hye due to what they call an inadequate official response in the beginning of the rescue effort.

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Tags: Sewol, Park Geun-hye, Lee Joon-seok, South Korea
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