S.Korea president says conduct of ferry crew tantamount to murder
Monday, April 21, 2014 - 01:23
Apr.21 - South Korean President Park Geun-hye says the actions of the captain and crew of a ferry that sank last week with hundreds feared dead are tantamount to murder. Sarah Toms reports.
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Four-years-old promotional video footage has surfaced of the captain of the stricken Sewol ferry giving maritime safety tips.
Here, Captain Lee Joon-seok tells passengers the Incheon - Jeju journey is safe.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN CAPTAIN OF CAPSIZED FERRY, LEE JOON-SEOK,SAYING:
"I believe it is safer than any other vehicle as long as they follow the instructions of our crew members."
The irony is his crew ordered the passengers, mostly high school children, to stay in their cabins as the ferry capsized last Wednesday.
Investigations are focusing on whether an earlier evacuation order could have saved lives.
Lee was not on the bridge when the ship turned. Navigation was in the hands of a third mate in charge for the first time.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye condemned the actions of the captain, who was allegedly one of the first to be rescued.
She said "criminal and civil" responsibility must be taken.
SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT PARK GEUN-HYE SAYING:
"The action of the captain and some of the crewmen was incomprehensible from a common-sense point of view and it was like an act of murder that must not be tolerated."
Sixty-four people are known to have died in the disaster. Two hundred and 38 are missing, presumed dead.
The captain and other crew members have been arrested....but for the parents of the children missing, who sit and wait for news, the punishment will never be enough.
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