S/Korea leader apol­o­gises over ferry dis­as­ter

Daily Trust - - MIDDLE EAST & ASIA -

In­ves­ti­ga­tors, mean­while, are ex­pand­ing their probe into both the cause of the ship’s sink­ing and the ini­tial re­sponse by emer­gency work­ers, ac­cord­ing to AP news agency.

Only 174 people sur­vived the sink­ing, in­clud­ing 22 of the 29 crew mem­bers.

All 15 crew mem­bers re­spon­si­ble for the ship’s nav­i­ga­tion have been ar­rested, but they have not been for­mally charged yet be­cause in­ves­ti­ga­tions are still go­ing on.

The ar­rested crew mem­bers are ac­cused of neg­li­gence and of fail­ing to help pas­sen­gers in need. Lee Joon-seok, the ship’s cap­tain, ini­tially told pas­sen­gers to stay in their rooms and took half an hour to is­sue an evac­u­a­tion or­der, by which time the ship was tilt­ing too se­verely for many people to get out.

Lee said af­ter his ar­rest that he with­held the evac­u­a­tion or­der be­cause res­cuers had yet to ar­rive and he feared for pas­sen­gers’ safety in the cold, swift wa­ter.

Ms Park’s apol­ogy comes amid pub­lic crit­i­cism and grief over the dis­as­ter.

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