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Investigation continues into Sewol-ho crew members

Updated: 2014-04-24 23:26:43 (KST)
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Korean authorities are broadening their investigation into what exactly happened on the day the ferry capsized and who is responsible for this man-made disaster.
For more details on the joint investigation between police and the prosecution, we are joined live by our Yoo Li-an .
Li-an, what have we learned so far?

Good evening Daniel.
It seems all 15 crew members, including the captain,.. that escaped the doomed Sewol-ho ferry will face criminal charges.
Eleven have already been charged with negligent homicide and violating maritime law,.. with the remaining four undergoing investigations as suspects for the same crimes.
Now,.. the comments coming from the crew members who are being investigated are causing quite a stir,..
One of the crewmen has said he and his crew members were in a room only seven to eight meters away from the cabins where the passengers were, before they fled the vessel, without following the standard protocol to help passengers escape.

Li-an, has there been any progress made in figuring out the cause of the ferry's sinking?

Well, what I can tell you is that the investigation is expanding to consider all possible causes.
Prosecutors are now also looking into the Ohamana Ferry which is a similiar type of ferry owned by the Chonghaejin Marine Company -- the operator of the sunken Sewol-ho, to find possible clues for why the ferry sank.
There are a number of possible causes for the sinking being thrown around, but here are the three that are emerging as the most likely scenario.
One is that the ferry made a sharp right turn.
Another is that the containers that weighed a total 36-hundred tons, were not secured properly.
There's also the possibility that the renovations made to the ferry, to carry more passengers and cargo, made it unstable.

Li-an search-and-rescue operations continued well into the ninth day,.. but still no survivors found.

That's right Daniel no surviving victims,.. but the death toll did continue to rise this Thursday.
Sixteen additional bodies were recovered , raising the death toll to 1-hundred-75, and a little less than that,.. 1-hundred-27 remain still unaccounted for underwater.
The divers focused on the third floor where the cafeteria is but not many victims were recovered as hoped for.
Also the divers also did not find any air pockets ,.. lowering the chance that there is any possible survivors down there.

Down at the harbor and also at the Jindo Gymnasium, the families of the victims have taken shelter to wait for any news of their loved ones.
How are they coping with the ongoing situation?

A lot of anger and a lot of commotion is all I can say.
The parents of the missing victims have grown furious at coast guard and government related personnel down at the site,.. for what they called a "slow and ineffecient" rescue operation.
Now today was the day considered the most critical day in terms of rescue operations given that the currents in the are forecast to grow stronger from today on,.. and parents were growing desperate to hear news for their loved ones.
The parents had wanted more diving distance lines installed and more private divers brought into the operation,.. and some at the harbor even questioned the Oceans minister for hours,.. in regards to the search operations today.
The oceans minister and the coast guard chief have been consistently saying that they are doing all that they can, and are making use of every possible asset, but parents simply were not trusting those words.

Now over in Ansan, the city most touched by the disaster,,.. a temporary group memorial altar has been set up.
Thousands of citizens have been visiting the site to say their good-byes to those that have passed.

That's right,..more than 30-thousand from all around the country came to the Ansan Olympic Memorial Hall just today.
Over 60 pictures of the victims were put on display and students, teachers, and faculty members filled the big hall with the sound of wailing and crying.
Ordinary citizens at the site have expressed their support for the victims' families.
Take a look.


"I know it's very painful for you but we will be supporting you. I heard you have hardly been eating. Please take care of your health and get well soon."


"No words will console you but please know that many people are feeling the pain with you and crying with you."


"I wish the students will go to heaven and live happily."

The local government here has also set up a message service, so that those who cannot come in person can send text messages of condolences which are being displayed on one of the screens here.

Alright Li-an thank-you for that report.


Reporter : Lian.yoo@arirang.co.kr

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