Prosecutors file arrest warrants for 3 crew membersUpdated: 2014-04-18 20:58:37 (KST)
And for more details on the ongoing probe into the ferry disaster we're joined by Park Ji-won in the studio.
So Ji-won, the joint team of prosecutors and police filed arrest warrants for three crew members including the captain?
Yes, the joint investigation team filed arrest warrants this evening, after intensively questioning the captain, three times, and raiding the office of the ferry operator this morning.
The team applied five different charges, including abandoning the sinking ship and rescuing himself before the safety of other passengers still on the boat.
And under special criminal laws on specific crimes, the maximum punishment a captain can face for abandoning the ship, could be life in prison.
There are reports that the ship may have gone under excessive renovations this could have been a factor in the cause of the accident as well..
The ship was last renovated in 2012, and the ship's weight increased by nearly a thousand tons.
The number of passengers the ship can carry also increased by more than a hundred.
Experts say this might have played a factor in the ship listing so easily, when taking a sharp turn.
The investigation team on Friday, also raided a shipyard in Mokpo, that renovated the ferry.
Experts also point out the possibility that the cargo carried inside the ferry, hundreds of vehicles and a thousand tons of other cargo, may not have been tied down, tightly, and that the cargo could have slid to one side suddenly when the ship took a swift turn.
So, it seems like a combination of so many problems together caused the tragedy.
The team in charge of investigating this disaster held a press briefing on their interim findings. What did we learn about who was steering the ship at the time of the disaster?
Yes, the joint investigation team announced their interim report today, and it's been confirmed that the ferry's 26-year old third mate, not the captain, was steering the 68-hundred-ton-ferry, when the vessel encountered trouble.
She started working for this company in December, just about four or five months ago.
Korean regulations mandate that a vessel more than 3-thousand tons should be navigated by a first or second mate,. and considering that the Sewol-ho ferry weighs more than twice that, it's clear violation of regulations.
Fingers are being pointed towards the captain, who is believed to have been away from the steering room at the time of the incident.
However, regarding the exact location of the captain at the time of the crisis, testimonies have so far differed.
Meantime, every surviving member of the ferry's crew, and the top management personnel of the ferry's operator, have been banned from leaving the country.
Ok, Jiwon, please do keep us updated. That was our Park Ji-won from the news center.
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