SEOUL MEDIA FUME OVER ‘REMAINS’
Next of kin put through ‘heaven and hell’, dailies report
SEOUL the Hankook Ilbo declared: “Maritime ministry gives relatives double punch”.
“Relatives of missing people had to undergo heaven and hell in one swoop as the government recklessly went ahead with an important announcement without checking basic facts,” it said.
The Dong-A Ilbo daily said it had “jumped the gun”, under a headline reading: “The maritime ministry goofs up, again”.
Relatives, who set up home at a port near the accident site, burst into tears when an official told them “human remains” had been retrieved, the paper said.
They rushed to a semi-submersible anchored at sea, where the wreck has been loaded and the bone fragments were found, only to be told of their animal origins.
Lost for words and exhausted, they returned to their shelters in silence, according to the daily.
An unidentified ministry official was quoted by the Chosun Ilbo newspaper as saying: “The bones were in muck and we were unable to take a close look at them before forensic experts arrived. We never imagined they could be from an animal.”
Almost all the victims were schoolchildren, and investigations concluded the disaster was largely man-made — the cumulative result of an illegal redesign of the ship, an overloaded cargo bay, inexperienced crew and a questionable relationship between the ship operators and state regulators.
The ministry was heavily criticised over the sinking, and the Kyunghyang daily said the announcement debacle happened because it was now overly eager to prove itself by producing results in the search for the missing. AFP
Newspapers carrying front-page stories about bone fragments found from the sunken ‘Sewol’ ferry and pictures of relatives of the missing people from the ferry disaster in Seoul yesterday.
The 7m-long retriculated python captured by villagers in West Sulawesi