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South Korea indicts four ferry crew members for homicide

By Ju-min Park

(Reuters) - The captain and three senior crew members of a South Korean ferry that capsized in April killing more than 280 passengers, many of them school children, were indicted for homicide on Thursday, a senior prosecutor said.

Prosecutors also indicted the 11 other surviving crew members of the ferry Sewol on negligence charges. The crew has been under criminal investigation after they were believed to have escaped the sinking vessel before many of the passengers.

"The captain, a first officer and second officer and the chief engineer escaped before the passengers leading to grave casualties," prosecutor Ahn Sang-don, who is leading the investigation, told a news briefing.

Captain, Crew Charged With Manslaughter In Ferry Disaster

The Sewol, overloaded and travelling too fast on a turn, capsized and sank on April 16 on a routine journey from the mainland port of Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju.

Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and their teachers on a school trip. Only 172 people were rescued, with the remainder presumed to have drowned.

A month after the disaster, 281 bodies have been recovered but 23 people remain missing, even as rescue divers continue to search the vessel.

The government of President Park Geun-hye has faced sharp criticism for its handling of the disaster and the rescue operation, with an outpouring of anger over suggestions that a more effective initial response could have saved many more lives.

Prosecutors are seeking the arrest of members of the family that owns the ferry operator, and may also seek the extradition of a son of the reclusive head of the family from the United States, an official said on Thursday.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Writing by Jack Kim; Editing by Choonsik Yoo and Alex Richardson)

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rreggaeredkc May 15 2014 at 5:28 PM

Why is it, do you suppose, commentors find personal pleasure with deliberately making hateful and factless comments? I used to think many of these commentors were young. Lately, I have discovered many are adults making the same vitriolic comments. Gives one a sense of personal power? Perhaps. Or, is it the opposite? Gives one a false sense of self perceived personal power.
This is nothing less than an overwhelming tragedy for those on this craft and their survivors. In my mind, there is no humor in this. I see no humor in the loss of life, especially young promising lives. People are being increasingly cruel for their enjoyment devoid of moral or ethical behavior. Am I the only one to always try to practice ethical behavior? Not saying I succeed 100% of the time. But I know there are others who think as I do. I'll respond to civil replies.

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rosasturtles1 May 15 2014 at 11:27 AM

Cowards needs to rot in jail for the rest of their lives.May all who died rest in peace

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1 reply
David rosasturtles1 May 15 2014 at 12:43 PM

Only America lets people rot in jail, China has a much faster and less expesive way to take care of those who are responsible.

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1 reply
Shirley David May 15 2014 at 1:01 PM

They actually rot there. I never heard of this at all. I hope they wouldn't do that. There are a lot of men in prisons, etc. that didn't commit the crime and a lot out there who did. What a terrible shame.

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karenkelley26 May 15 2014 at 9:31 AM

I understand that people should be charged. I definitely think the owners should be and the captain and any other crew member that was purposely negligent. But it just seems like they are charging everyone who worked on the ship!! What they are basically saying by doing this is it doesn't matter what happened, because you worked for that ship and you lived you will be charged. The only way they would get out of this unscathed is if they had died!! There had to come a point when the crew had to put themselves first. So I guess Julie McCoy, Isacc the bartender and Gopher should have either died or been charged with murder is the Love Boat sank and they lived? I am not making a joke of this, it is a horrible, horrible thing. But I just think that they are so desperate to place blame that they are charging everyone and anyone. I wonder how the prosecutor would have reacted had he been there? All the survivors will live the rest of their lives remembering this, dealing with survivors guilt.

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3 replies
TruthBeKnown May 15 2014 at 9:14 AM


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2 replies
wlh1923 TruthBeKnown May 15 2014 at 11:17 AM

Huffington Post died December 10, 2013 when it did the facebook login cramdown on its loyal members and followers. I like many thousands of others was a loyal Huffington Post commenter who abandoned Huffington Post on that fateful day when we were required to re-register through facebook. I simply said no and quit Huffington Post

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Ashleigh TruthBeKnown May 15 2014 at 11:45 AM

AOL is Leftist as well. They too censor many posts.

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TruthBeKnown May 15 2014 at 9:10 AM

It just seems real strange to me that not one person looked at all of the people and the cargo and it did not register that it was dangerous and relied upon authorities to assume that they knew what they were doing and that is was alright.. Are these people that are trained to not question anything that does not look right ? Or are they unaware of their surroundings... Sorry for their loss, My motto is question~~ everything.. !

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3 replies
ump495 May 15 2014 at 8:38 AM

prayers go out to those that died as well as their love ones and friends. rest in peace.

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BigBadGene May 15 2014 at 8:37 AM

What ever happened with a Captain not leaving his ship till everyone else is off the boat.

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1 reply
salbue BigBadGene May 15 2014 at 10:29 AM

Maybe that's why he's being charged........?

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swailsdebra May 15 2014 at 5:49 AM

there were heroic efforts by some of the crew and passengers, they should be recognized.

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prism51 May 15 2014 at 5:40 AM

My Heart breaks to see so many innocent lives loss for no reason. My thoughts and Prayers go out to the family and friends that have lost their loved ones. It is very sad!!

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sgentilejr May 15 2014 at 4:58 AM

It took OVER 2 hours for the ferry ship to sink. It also took over 2 hours for the South Korean government to deploy rescue vessels that arrived at the sinking vessel that was only 10 miles offshore. Regardless if you want to call it Justice or Revenge __ nothing being done now will bring back any of the lives lost.
The ships Captain would have been in this same mess no matter what he did . Had he told them to abandon ship they would have died in that frigid water in 15 minutes as hypothermia quickly set in. Had he gone down with the ship or gotten off it as he did __ either way he will likely die for his actions. So nothing changed either way.

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1 reply
BigBadGene sgentilejr May 15 2014 at 8:43 AM

This could be true. The thing I don't know is how much of that two hours did the captain hold off on calling out for help. If this is the case they might of had a different outcome. My heart breaks that all those kids died,

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1 reply
purrsen13 BigBadGene May 15 2014 at 11:24 AM

It was a boy calling out that alerted them that they were sinking and knew they were probably going to die but the crew kept arguing with shore about time of rescue boats while commercial ships were right there ready to take aboard anyone but being told they would endanger the lives of those in the water. I wish people hadn't lost the ability to exercise personal response to decision making, helping others without worrying about themselves first. By-the-way the Captain wasn't even where he belonged but in his cabin and rescued in his skivies. To swailsdebra, a young female crew member handed out life jackets including her own as well as her life and she was given credit early on.

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