Just a day after the captain and crew of the capsized ferry in South Korea were arrested for negligence, authorities are revealing that students aboard the boat were told to stay put while elders escaped.
Only 174 people out of the 476 passengers have been rescued. About 339 of those aboard were children and teachers on a school outing.
According to Reuters:
Several crew members, including the captain, left the ferry as it was sinking, witnesses have said, after passengers were told to stay in their cabins. President Park Geun-hye said on Monday that instruction was tantamount to an “act of murder.”
Many of the children did not question their elders, as is customary in hierarchical Korean society. They paid for their obedience with their lives.
On Tuesday, four crew members appeared in court and were questioned by reporters before being taken into custody. The second mate told reporters he tried to reach the lifeboats, but was unable to do so.
Sadly, only two of the ferry’s 46 lifeboats were deployed.
Two first mates, one second mate and the chief engineer stood with their heads lowered and it was impossible to tell who was speaking.
One said there had been a mistake as the boat made a turn. Another said there was an eventual order to abandon ship. He said the crew gathered on the bridge and tried to restore balance, but could not.
“Maybe the steering gear was broken,” one said.
Media said the ship lost power for 36 seconds, which could have been a factor.
Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the accident, as divers resume their search to recover bodies from the capsized ferry.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones in this tragic incident.
SOURCE: Reuters | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.
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