Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: Prosecutors extend Korea ferry captain’s detention as death toll mounts

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Prosecutors extend Korea ferry captain’s detention as death toll mounts
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: South Korean prosecutors investigating a ferry disaster said on Sunday they would seek to extend the detention of the ship’s captain and two other crew by 10 days as they tried to determine the cause of an accident that may claim more than 300 lives.

The ferry, the Sewol, was on a 400-km (300-mile) voyage from Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju in calm weather when it turned, listed sharply and then began to sink early on Wednesday.

The ship was being steered by the third mate, on her first passage helming through the waters, and the captain was not on the bridge at the time.

Out of the 476 passengers and crew, 339 were pupils or teachers from a high school in Ansan, a commuter city outside Seoul.

Divers gained access to the passenger quarters of the sunken vessel overnight for the first time and by midday on Sunday the total of confirmed deaths to had risen to 50, with 252 passengers, most of them children, still missing.

The 20-year old ferry took more than two hours to sink but passengers were ordered to stay put in their cabins. So far, 174 passengers are known to have survived the capsize.

“We are trying to find out if there is additional negligence,” Prosecutor Yang Joong-jin told a news conference in Mokpo, one of the centres for the investigation.

When the crew were arrested on Saturday, they were detained by police for 10 days and prosecutors for a further 10. If the extension is granted, they could be detained for 30 days.

Yang said that prosecutors had also summoned 10 other people to give evidence, including other crew from the Sewol and officials from the ferry’s owner, Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd.

The death toll mounted steadily on Sunday as more divers gained access to the passenger quarters of the ferry with the help of ropes to guide them through the murky water.

“We are now putting in four guide lines, before there was only one, so their access will become faster,” Ko Myung-suk, a coast guard official, told a news briefing in the rescue centre in the port of Jindo.

A naval sailor also died on Saturday on a boat on the way out to help in the search, a naval official said.

ANGUISH AND FRUSTRATION

Relatives of those still listed as missing, but who are now presumed to be dead, clashed briefly with police when about 100 of them tried to leave the island by a road bridge to the mainland to take their protest to the capital city of Seoul.

Police blocked them and they later turned back.

“Bring me the body,” weeping mother Bae Sun-ok said of her child as she was comforted by two policemen at the bridge.

More than 500 parents of the schoolchildren and relatives of other people missing have spent four days and nights cooped up in a gymnasium in the port city of Jindo, which is the centre of the rescue operations.

Tempers have frayed over the slow pace of the recovery and frequent changes in information.

President Park Geun-hye was booed by some of the relatives when she visited the gym on Thursday.

Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, was arrested on Saturday on charges of negligence for quitting the ship while leaving passengers on board along with two other crew members, including the third mate.

Lee told television cameras when he was arrested that he feared passengers would be swept away by the strong tides in the area and did not order a general evacuation.

He has not said why he left the ship when the passengers were instructed to remain on board.

Pupils at the school in Ansan, a gritty commuter town, set up shrines to the dead and posted messages for the missing.

The vice-principal of the school, who was on the ferry and survived the capsize, hanged himself outside the gymnasium in Jindo in another blow to the school and his body was discovered on Friday.

The sinking looks set to be the country’s worst maritime disaster in 21 years in terms of loss of life.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)41 seconds ago

Australia, Asia, and Africa deal with the Covid-19 Omicron variant

Thailand9 mins ago

HM The King returns to Thailand for Father’s Day commemorations

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Omicron spreads to 38 countries, 10 US states; Remdesivir recalled

advertiseadvertise
Transport3 hours ago

Hua Lamphong “won’t be torn down” | VIDEO

North East3 hours ago

Penis park in Khon Kaen is urging visitors to hug a member

Food4 hours ago

Vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Bangkok | VIDEO

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism4 hours ago

Maya Bay on hold, but preparations for an eventual reopening continue | VIDEOS

Indonesia14 hours ago

Volcano eruption in Indonesia; 1 dead, thousands flee

Drugs15 hours ago

Customs department seizes 897 kg of meth headed to Taiwan

Northern Thailand17 hours ago

Tiger in Kamphaeng Phet on the loose for a fifth day

Chiang Mai18 hours ago

Chiang Mai and Hua Hin can now serve alcohol in restaurants

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Koh Samui Airport scrutinising international arrivals for Omicron

Thailand19 hours ago

PM says government move to digital technology will grow economy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

COVID-19 SATURDAY: 5,896 infections, 37 deaths, provincial data

Tourism24 hours ago

Chon Buri and Pattaya bar scene get good news, but at what cost?

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending