Ferry captain, 3 crew face homicide charges
MOKPO, SOUTH KOREA
THE captain and three senior crew members of a South Korean ferry that capsized last month, killing more than 280 passengers, were indicted for homicide yesterday, a senior prosecutor said.
Prosecutors also indicted 11 other surviving crew members of the ferry Sewol on negligence charges. Members of the crew have been under criminal investigation after they were believed to have escaped the sinking vessel before many passengers.
"The captain, a first officer and second officer and the chief engineer escaped before the passengers, leading to grave casualties," prosecutor Ahn Sang Don, who is leading the investigation, said.
Mr Ahn said the Sewol was severely compromised in its ability to maintain stability after a remodelling to add capacity, and had set sail on April 16 massively overloaded.
Strong currents in the disaster zone made the vessel less responsive to navigation and prompted the crew to make a sharp turn of 15 degrees, which led the ferry to list rapidly and then sink.