News / Asia

Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authoritiesi
X
April 19, 2014 4:30 PM
Relatives of passengers on a sunken South Korean ferry have lashed out at authorities after they failed for a fourth day to enter the vessel. Twenty-nine bodies have been recovered from the water but some 270 remain trapped on board. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Jindo.
Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities
Daniel Schearf
Relatives of passengers on a sunken South Korean ferry have lashed out at authorities after they failed for a fourth day to enter the vessel. The confirmed deathtoll stands at 46, but some 250 remain trapped on board.

At a sports stadium in Jindo, a southern port town near the site of the sinking, hundreds of relatives of passengers on the capsized ferry waited, hoping for good news.

But Coast Guard Deputy Chief Choi Sang-hwan told the crowd rescue divers failed once again to reach those on board, most of them high school students.

"Because the water is too strong, the divers cannot get into the ship. But, we are doing our best,” he said.

Exhausted and incensed at the lack of progress, one father tried to attack the officers.

South Korea's Prime Minister Chung Hong-won and the Coast Guard chief are leading the operation.

Scores of rescue aircraft and boats are working with hundreds of rescue divers, but their efforts so far do little to comfort the parents.

"Bring the captain here and then kill him in the water! And, bring back our children!" one mother said.

The cause of the sinking is still being investigated.

The captain, Lee Joon-seok, was arrested Saturday along with the helmsman and third mate, who were also on duty. They face criminal charges of abandoning their ship and passengers during a crisis, accidental homicide, or both.

South Korean media reports said the captain was one of the first to abandon ship and told passengers not to move.

"At the time, the current was very strong, temperature of the ocean water was cold, and I thought that if people left the ferry without [proper] judgement, if they were not wearing a life jacket, and even if they were, they would drift away and face many other difficulties," said Lee Joon-seok.

"The rescue boats had not arrived yet, nor were there any civilian fishing ships other boats near by at that time," he said.

Relatives of the missing lined up to give DNA samples in a grim reminder that the body count in this tragedy will only rise.

But some, still holding out hope, refused, asking how it would help save their children.
 
  • Family members of a missing passenger from the capsized passenger ferry, Sewol, wait for news of the rescue operation at a makeshift accommodation, in the port city of Jindo, April 23, 2014.
  • Women wearing protective suits spray antiseptic solution around the tents of volunteers who distribute food and necessities for relatives of missing passengers of Sewol, in Jindo, April 23, 2014.
  • People pray during a candlelight vigil to commemorate the victims of capsized passenger ferry Sewol and to wish for the safe return of missing passengers, in Ansan, Korea, April 23, 2014.
  • Satellite trucks for members of the press reporting on the sunken ferry, Sewol, in Jindo, April 18, 2014. (Sungmin Do/VOA)
  • A Buddhist monk prays for the missing passengers who were on the South Korean ferry, Sewol. Family members, rescue staff and members of the press gather at the port, Jindo, April 18, 2014. (Sungmin Do/VOA)
  • A rescue diver jumps in near the buoys installed to mark the location of the sunken ferry Sewol off the southern coast, near Jindo, April 18, 2014. 
  • This giant offshore crane will be used in the rescue operation of the capsized passenger ferry Sewol. Seen here, it is moving into position as members of the South Korean Navy's SSU (Ship Salvage Unit) take part in the rescue operation, Jindo, April 18, 2014.
  • A family member of a missing passenger on South Korean ferry Sewol cries as she waits for news from a rescue team, Jindo, April 18, 2014.
  • A family member of missing passengers who were on the Sewol ferry looks toward the site of the incident, Jindo, April 18, 2014.

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: dong
April 20, 2014 12:12 PM
Korean people are getting really more furious now. Anouncements which explains present situation are wrong too many times. Each authorities related to the accident had miscommunication. Even they are trying to evade and hide the truth they got from the radio communication at the moment of the accident. Most of press decieve people. Congressmen rush through revised bill by using this disaster when people are being in panic. We just want to know the trurh. The government have been doing this from long time ago. .


by: Richard from: Nevada
April 19, 2014 4:07 PM
It's sad people are asking for the captains life when all we have are rumors and stories. Death threats are the lowest form of human nature. Every human deserves a fair trial.


by: Senna from: USA
April 19, 2014 1:08 PM
The Captain said there were no boats for the children near by, but what about the life boats?
Why did he not put the life boats into the water when he was given the order from on the shore to evacuate?
Isn't putting life boats out what you do?
I do not see this question asked and do not understand why not.
Was there something wrong with the life boats and he knew they would not work or something?

In Response

by: Mark from: USa
April 19, 2014 4:09 PM
I believe that, once the ship started listing, it became impossible to access, let alone remove, the lifeboats. By the time the captain gave evacuation orders, which has been reported as between 18-30 minutes after the ship began to sink, depending on the news source, the ship had listed to such a severe angle that it was no longer possible to make use of the lifeboats. This is precisely why these intitial minutes were so vital to the survival of the passengers. Those who disobeyed the captain's orders and evacuated have survived. Those who did not, were trapped inside the ship with no way out. Such a tragedy.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid