Latest on investigation; timeline of crew's escapeUpdated: 2014-04-22 17:25:12 (KST)
And the investigation to find out WHY and HOW the crew got off the ferry while more than 400 passengers were still inside continues.
For more, we now go to Laah Hyun-kyung, standing by at the news center.
The latest is that the four additional crew members -- these are not
the three including the captain that are already put behind bars -- they
claim the crew tried to correct the ferry when it started to list but failed because there was something wrong with the navigation equipment.
They also claim that the captain did issue an evacuation order.
Their arrest and detention warrants are in the process of being validated -- investigators say the warrants could be issued as early as later tonight.
Their testimonies come after the Korea Coast Guard earlier in the day said the crew didn't even release the 14 life floats they passed on their way toward rescue.
Each of those life vessels could have each carried up to 25 people.
The questioned crew members said they did try to release the floats but failed because they couldn't even get near them.
The Coast Guard said it was about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday when the regional rescue team arrived at the accident site.
It took them about 30 minutes to get there which means they knew about the situation at 9 a.m.
When the rescue team arrived, the ferry was already listing 50 to 60 degrees.
Prior initial investigation had said the crew members started to escape at around 9:37 a.m. -- which was only about ten minutes after the passengers were told to stay put with their life vests on.
As a result, most of the crew members were able to get onto the rescue team's boat and escape from the ferry when hundreds of passengers were sinking with the ship.
Multiple factors have caused this tragic accident to happen. One of them could be the ferry's operator?
The speicla prosecutorial investigative team has imposed travel
bans on 30 additional officials related to the Cheonghaejin Marince Company.
The prosecution is looking into whether the operator's management and the family which owns the company have evaded taxes or embezzled funds by making illegal overseas transactions.
The latest travel bans come after the president of the company Kim Han-sik and Yoo Byung-eon, former chairman of the company's parent firm as well as his two sons were banned from traveling over the weekend.
And Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries is looking into revoking the ferry operator's business license.
Cheonghaejin Marine Company has been in the investigators' sights ever since the accident happened last Wednesday.
A ministry official says although the sunken ship needs to be salvaged before any conclusion is made on whether the operator INDEED had contributed to the ferry's sinking, the crew's failure to evacuate the passengers can serve as a reason to cancel their license.
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