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Sewol-ho ferry disaster: Day 14

Updated: 2014-04-29 12:02:17 (KST)
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The country still remains in a deep state of shock and sorrow over the ferry disaster, with 193 people now confirmed dead and 109 others missing and presumed dead.
Let's connect with our Shin Se-min at the news center for the latest,
Se-min, the weather hasn't been on the search and rescue team's side in recent days. How has this affected operations?

Yes, the weather conditions have improved, but under the water, it is a different story.
Fast currents and strong tides are creating problems for divers, so much so that many are being held back out of concerns they may be putting their own lives at risk.
Currently, the official death toll stands at 1-hundred-93, with four more bodies being discovered during an early morning search operation at around 2 a.m., Korea time.
The bodies have not yet been identified, but are believed to be male students from Danwon High School.
Going back to the conditions down at the site, the rain clouds are clearing out, which should help search crews, but the sea conditions will worsen, with currents forecast to reach speeds of up to 2.4 meters per second.
In terms of the search operation, a diving bell is expected to be deployed this afternoon, and if that attempt is a success, it will mark a first.
A diving bell was set to be deployed last Saturday, but strong currents made it difficult for the equipment to be utilized, forcing emergency crews to pull it back out.
If and when the diving bell is set properly, it will allow divers to continue their underwater search for up to 20 consecutive hours.
So far, only one third of the Sewol-ho ferry's one-hundred-11 cabins have been searched.
The divers are mainly focused on searching the fourth floor and the left side of the vessel, where most of the missing passengers are believed to be, as the ferry listed to the left as it sank.

Now, Se-min new video footage of the early stages of the sinking have been released quite shocking I would say Tell us more about that.

The video released by the maritime police shows the first crucial moments of the rescue efforts, and it shows the captain and some of the crew being among the first to get off the sinking ferry.
Now, the central focus of the footage is the period between 9:43 a.m. and 9:49 a.m.
This footage CLEARLY shows captain Lee Joon-seok and his crew leaving the ferry without attending to passengers.
It's difficult to distinguish him as the captain,. as Lee jumps into the rescue boat in his boxer shorts WITHOUT his uniform on.
By 9:35 a.m., all 15 crew members have started to abandon their ship, but as you can see, hardly any passengers are seen on the deck of the ferry, raising criticism the crew didn't properly instruct them to leave the ship.

Still more questions than answers at this point unfortunately. What about the criminal investigations that are ongoing at this moment. What do we know so far?

Yes, there are a number of investigations under way.
One is looking into the link between Kim Han-sik , the president of the Chonghaejin Marine Company, and Yoo Byung-eon , the practical owner of the ferry company.
Kim was summoned for questioning Tuesday morning, for the first time since the ferry disaster.
Prosecutors are looking into whether he was involved in any business irregularities,… such as embezzlement, dereliction of duty and tax evasion, in connection with Yoo.
The possibility that Kim managed slush funds for Yoo Byung-eon is also being investigated.
Investigators have been taking a long look at Yoo, and raided four offices in Seoul, Daegu and in Gyeonggi-do province on Monday looking for evidence of paper companies.
They're also looking at the ferry's first mate, known only by his family name Kang.
While the ferry was listing, Kang was reporting the situation to his employer, Chonghaejin Marine Company… instead of working to save the ill-fated ferry or its passengers.
He was also responsible for managing the amount of ballast water on the vessel, which is believed to have been one of the factors that caused the ferry to sink.
That's all from me for now. We'll have more updates throughout the afternoon and evening.


Reporter : ashin@arirang.co.kr

Comments

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quin2014 (Indonesia) 2014-04-29    

The captain and crews abandoned the ship after telling the passengers to "stay where you are for your own safety". If this is not premeditated murder, then what is it?

nicky1999 (USA) 2014-04-29    

all the ones that they locked up they should take them out back find a tree and then you hang them high. ;((

nicky1999 (USA) 2014-04-29    

that's the exact reason why he did not have his uniform on because if he had his uniform on they would've never of saved him because they would see that he is the captain and they would not allow him to get one rescue boat. His name should be Capt Dick head.

fatboyme (USA) 2014-04-29    

I feel bad for them.