Captain, Two Crew Of Sunken South Korean Ferry Arrested

Authorities in South Korea have charged the captain and two crew members of the capsized ferry with negligence and violation of maritime law.
Posted at 11:27 PM, Apr 18, 2014

South Korean agencies say the captain of the capsized ferry, which has left at least 29 people dead and over 270 missing, has been arrested.

Yonhap News Agency first reported arrest warrants had been issued for the 68-year-old captain Lee Joon-Seok, along with two other crew members. They face five charges so far, including negligence of duty and violation of maritime law.

Prosecutors claim Lee was not at the helm of the ship when it started to capsize, and failed to help passengers escape the sinking ship. Lee, who was one of the first people rescued from the ship, told reporters he was ashamed and at a loss for words. (Via  Euronews)

Rescuers are still searching for the over 270 people still missing after the ferry capsized Wednesday during a routine trip to a nearby resort island. The ship was carrying 475 passengers when it sunk, including 325 teenagers from Danwon high school, who were on a class trip. (Via BBC)

But as time wears on, the chances of finding anyone alive grow slimmer, and the families of those missing grow more and more frustrated. CNN reports many families are outraged about an order given to the passengers telling them to remain in their seats and wait for rescue.

"They feel that the adults should know better, that had their children been told to run to the deck, that perhaps they could have jumped into the water, that they could have survived for a while longer."

Compounding Wednesday's tragedy, one of the high school officials rescued from the ship has apparently committed suicide. Arirang reports the school's vice principal was found hanged Friday morning with a suicide note in his wallet saying it was hard to live on without knowing the fate of his students.

Investigators have yet to determine what caused the ferry to sink, but they say an overly sharp turn and unsecured cargo might have been contributing factors.