SEOUL ME­DIA FUME OVER ‘RE­MAINS’

Next of kin put through ‘heaven and hell’, dailies re­port

New Straits Times - - World -

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

PIX AGENCY

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

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