Updates April 22 , 2014 ....
Updates - April 20 , 2014 --
Two more bodies recovered, raising death toll from sunken ship to 56
Sewol's crew appears to have begun evacuation 40 minutes after distress call
Updates -April 19 , 2014 .....
New Straits Times....
S Korea prosecutors seek ferry captain arrest
Death toll rises as details emerge that captain was not at the helm when ferry capsized.
Last updated: 18 Apr 2014 12:45
|Prosecutors in South Korea are requesting an arrest warrant for the captain of a ferry that sank two days ago.|
The move to arrest the captain, Lee Joon-seok, on Friday, comes after it emerged that a junior officer was at the helm at the time of the sinking of the ferry on Wednesday that has claimed at least 28 lives and left 268 others missing.
"The captain was not in command when the accident took place," state prosecutor Park Jae-Eok told a press briefing on preliminary findings of the investigation into the disaster.
Of 475 passengers and crew on the Sewol ferry 179 people were listed as safe and 268 were still missing.
Rescue teams were finally able to get inside the ferry on Friday but were still unable to reach the area where it is hoped survivors may be in an air pocket.
In another development on Friday, the vice principal of the high school that students on board the sunken South Korean ferry attended, committed suicide by hanging, police said.
Police said they found 52-year-old Kang Min-gyu hanging from a tree outside the gymnasium housing many of the survivors.
"He was found dead by our police patrolling around," said Lee Seong-hoon, the chief of criminal investigation in Jindo.
Coastguard officials have said the investigation was focused on possible crew negligence, problems with cargo stowage and structural defects of the vessel, although the ship appears to have passed all of its safety and insurance checks.
Relatives of those who died have accused the captain and some of his crew of being among the first to leave the vessel.
Both 69-year-old Lee and the company that owns the ship have apologised for the loss of life, although neither has admitted responsibility.
Most of those on board were children from a high school in the suburbs of Seoul who were on a field trip to Jeju.
Relatives were in mourning overnight in a hospital in the city of Mokpo, close to the port city of Jindo, which is acting as a rescue centre.
Some of them spoke bitterly of the captain.
"How could he tell those young kids to stay there and jump from the sinking ship himself?" said Ham Young-ho, grandfather of 17-year-old Lee Da-woon, one of the dead.
Lee has not made any public statement on whether or why he may have left the vessel before many of the passengers.
April 18 , 2014 - New Straits Times .....