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SAT, 2014-11-01  KST

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State inspectors announce interim results of ferry disaster investigation

Updated: 2014-07-09 07:13:51 KST
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It's around 3 p.m. on April 16th, about six hours after the Sewol-ho ferry first encountered trouble.
Officials from the Coast Guard and a rescue team communicate about the situation at the accident site.

(SOUNDBYTE)- ( : ) ( , CG )
"Do you bring extra air tanks?"
"Air tanks? We didn't bring them."
"How could you forget such a basic item?"
"We can't load much equipment into our van."

Rescue teams did not even have enough boats to take to the scene of the accident.

(SOUNDBYTE)- ( : ) ( , CG )
"We can't go to the site right now. We don't have any boats to get us there. () And we can't reach the on-site commander."

These soundbytes were made public during the ongoing parliamentary probe into the ferry disaster.
They add credence to the criticism that authorities wasted precious time in the early hours of the accident because they weren't prepared.
The Board of Audit and Inspection also found that information provided on a form submitted by the ferry operator to receive a navigation license for the Sewol-ho ferry was altered, and that the local maritime affairs administration failed to catch it.
Cargo was also not reported properly.
The ferry operator had reported that 97 vehicles were aboard the vessel that day, but in fact the number was nearly double that, at 185--another factor leading to the capsizing.
Some Coast Guard officials stand accused of receiving kickbacks just days before a regulations committee convened to make a determination on the Sewol-ho's license.
From corruption and lax oversight to failed rescue efforts the combination of factors were deadly.
Nearly 300 people have been confirmed dead in the tragedy, and 11 people remain unaccounted for.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.


Reporter : jiwonpark@arirang.co.kr

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