Sewol-ho crew members investigation; cause of the sinkingUpdated: 2014-04-25 11:54:26 (KST)
Authorities are broadening their investigation into what exactly happened, on the day the Sewol-ho ferry capsized, and who is responsible for this man-made disaster
For more, we have our Shin Se-min in the news center.
Se-min, what's the latest?
So far, it looks like ALL 15 rescued crew members, including the captain Lee Joon-seok that escaped the ferry WILL face criminal charges.
Eleven have already been charged with negligent homicide while violating maritime law, with the remaining four under investigation as suspects.
Comments made by some of the crew members are causing quite a stir as well.
One testified that crew members including himself were in a room, less than ten meters away from where the passenger cabins were, right before they fled the shipwhich clearly suggests they did not follow the standard protocol to help passengers escape.
Now, an investigation into the ferry's operator is underway as well.
Yes,.. the special investigation team is looking into all probable causes.
One angle they are looking at are irregularities in overall port operations.
Prosecutors found out just today, that the practical owner of the Sewol-ho ferry operator, Yoo Byung-eon and his family own at LEAST three paper companies.
The prosecutors believe there might be even more.
Investigators say these fraudulent companies were used to create slush funds by drawing in wealth from the company's affiliates.
Also earlier, prosecutors ordered the second son and a daughter of Yoo Byung-eon to return to Korea by the 29th of April for questioning.
That's next Tuesday.
There are a lot of accusations surrounding the family right now, from tax evasion and embezzlement to illegal overseas transactions.
As well as their actions, or lack thereof, leading up to the Sewol-ho tragedy. What about the cause of the sinking? Are we any closer to finding out what actually happened?
Well, not really. Investigators continue to look into all possibilities.
Prosecutors are looking into another similar vessel, the Ohamana-ho ferry, also owned by the Chonghaejin Marine Company, the operator of the sunken Sewol-ho to find POSSIBLE clues.
A number of possible causes have been raised over the past several days, but THREE have emerged as the most probable scenarios.
One is that the Sewol-ho ferry made a sudden right turn as it attempted to do a P-turn, and experts say the helm was turned back again, but the ferry didn't come back to its original position, possibly causing operations to freeze momentarily.
Now this is when ANOTHER factor comes in, the three-and-a-half thousand tons of freight onboard was NOT secured properly, and this caused all the containers and vehicles in the cargo hold to list to one side, tilting it even further with the concentrated weight on just one side.
And lastly, there's also the possibility renovations made to the ferry to maximize the number of passengers and cargo made it unstable.
Now the advisory panel of 13-experts will meet for the first time at around 3 p.m., Korea time, to figure out what EXACTLY went wrong.
Professors, marine and shipping experts and representatives from the shipping industry will attempt to reconstruct the accident using a mock-up of the ferry.
Back to you guys.
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We may never know.