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Sunken ferry crew requested steering gear repair before accident

Updated: 2014-04-23 21:59:44 (KST)
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This is a repair request form submitted by the crew of the Sewol-ho ferry to ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine Company about two weeks before the tragic accident.
It says that the steering gear of the now-sunken ferry was sending "No Voltage" warnings.
To use the steering equipment, crew members said they had to reset the power, and rely on an on-board power supply while they were waiting for power to be restored.
The request form added the fundamental cause of the issue was unknown.
However, the ferry operator took no action on the issue.
Korean broadcaster YTN reported Wednesday that a ship repair company that had worked on the Sewol-ho ferry before, said it had not repaired the steering gear of Sewol-ho-ferry anytime recently, nor had it received any repair requests about the steering gear.
Experts say that the steering gear is key to safe sailing for a ship, that any problem in the steering gear increases the likelihood of an accident, and that ships with steering system problems should be prevented from setting sail.
However, Chonghaejin Marine Company appears to have continued to allow the ill-fated Sewol-ho ferry to operate for more than two weeks, leading up to the accident last week.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.


Reporter : jiwonpark@arirang.co.kr

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