Surviving students of Sewol-ho ferry disaster testifyUpdated: 2014-07-29 06:31:51 (KST)
A ferry with about 300 passengers, most of them students, is sinking fast.
But instead of staging full-out rescue efforts, the crew members are nowhere to be seen, and the coast guard is watching from afar.
This was the testimony given by six survivors of April's Sewol-ho ferry disaster who are students of Danwon High School.
Speaking in a court hearing Monday afternoon, the six gave a chronological account of the events from the time of the accident.
One said that about "30 students were lined up for the emergency exit. But when the rescue team didn't arrive, each student began jumping into the water."
As soon as she did, the student says in a shaky voice that the waves suddenly crashed up against the emergency exit, where 10 of her friends had been waiting. They were unable to escape.
Another surviving student also said that the Sewol-ho crew were nowhere to be seen for the entirety of her escape.
She testified that the coast guard was within an arm's reach of the emergency exit,.. but only lifted out the people who fell into the water.
She said she told them a lot more of her friends were just inside the emergency exit, but the coast guard only watched as the ship continued to list.
Most students told judges that there were repeated announcements instructing passengers to stay where they were.
If they had received instructions to escape, the six students said many more could have survived.
The students ended their testimonies by asking the panel of judges to punish the crewmen to the strictest letter of the law.
Sewol-ho ferry captain Lee Joon-seok and three of his fellow crew are currently on trial for charges of homicide by willful negligence.
None were present at Monday's court hearing.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
Reporter : Lian.email@example.com