Timeline of crew escape releasedUpdated: 2014-04-22 11:59:10 (KST)
Local authorities are putting the pieces together trying to make sense of WHY and HOW this tragic accident happened
To find out what they've discovered thus far, we are joined by our Kim Ji-yeon .
She has been following the developments on the investigation front.
Ji-yeon, what are we learning of late?
The latest is that the Korea Coast Guard says it has determined when the crew members escaped the ferry.
The rescue team from the Mokpo Coast Guard which was about 30 kilometers away from the ferry site arrived at the site at nine-thirty about 30 minutes after it was first ordered from the situation room to send a rescue team.
At that time, the ferry was listing 50 to 60 degrees.
Some of the crew members started to escape the steering room eight minutes later after their last communication with the control tower in Jindo Island. onto the boats provided by the coast guard.
During the escape, the crew members did not release the 14 life floats they passed on their way that could have each carried up to 25 people.
The more information we get, the more unbelievable it gets.
We also hear that prosecutors and police are expanding their joint investigation into the ferry disaster. What's the latest?
We're hearing *two *additional crew members have been arrested, including the engineer surnamed Sohn who tried to take his own life yesterday.
Meanwhile investigators are reviewing *testimony from one of the escaped crew members who said that walkie-talkies were being used to talk over ways to get off the ferry.
According to reports an evacuation order came down to the engine room and crew members are said to have traveled through a passageway accessible only to crew - to gather on the third floor before making their escape together.
The Gwangju District Court has granted arrest warrants for FOUR crew members including chief engineers and navigators for neglecting their duties to lead the passengers to safety.
Investigators are also expanding their probe into the ferry COMPANY
Yes. The joint investigative team is looking into whether too much cargo was loaded onto the ferry that may have contributed to its listing with the abrupt turn of the vessel.
Also, the investigative team is planning to expand their investigation into whether it was illegal for the ferry to be restructured to include more cabins and hold more people and whether the captain and crew had received sufficient safety training.
The countrys' financial watchdog and the National Tax Service have also started their investigation in to the CheongHaejin Marine Company and the family of the company's owners to see whether they were involved in illegal transactions or evaded their tax obligations.
How is the government responding to the investigation?
Prime Minister Chung Hong-won says the government will come up with a "master plan" to uphold safety regulations.
And the first step he says would be to punish those responsible for the massive loss of so many lives.
He ordered related ministries to come with a solution to improve the abnormal practices by crew members and ways to make sure manuals are kept in times of crisis.
The prime minister asked business entities themselves to check if they are keeping safety regulations during the next two weeks.
He warned that there may be an impromptu inspection after that period.
We'll continue to give you more updates on the ferry disaster later today.
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