News / Asia

    Wrenching Video Scenes Show S. Korean Students as Ferry Sinks

    Related Video Report of Sinking Ferryi
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 01, 2014 5:31 PM
    VIDEO: Footage shows the last moments of young passengers as the South Korean ferry Sewol capsizes
    VIDEO: Footage shows the last moments of young passengers as the South Korean ferry Sewol capsizes (courtesy of Associated Press).
    VOA News
    Soon after the ferry begins to tilt, nervous laughter can be heard from the high school students huddled below deck. In video clips from the cellphone of a victim of a disaster that has shaken South Korea, the teenagers talk of taking selfies, wonder if they'll make the news and discuss posting on Facebook.

    The fear in the cabin builds as the listing becomes worse. Some say they feel dizzy, that their legs are shaking. One student can be seen walking with his hands braced against the wall for balance.
     
    "Am I really going to die?'' a student asks at 8:53 a.m. April 16, less than two minutes into the video and two minutes before a crew member on the bridge made the ferry's first distress call.

     
    Maritime police search for missing passengers in front of the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-JiMaritime police search for missing passengers in front of the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
    x
    Maritime police search for missing passengers in front of the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
    Maritime police search for missing passengers in front of the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
    The Sewol ferry sank on a routine trip south from the port of Incheon to the traditional holiday island of Jeju. More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers on a field trip from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of Seoul, have died or are missing and presumed dead.
     
    The confirmed death toll from the ferry disaster on Thursday stood at 213 with about 90 people still unaccounted for.
     
    Footage provided by Newstapa, a website run by Korea Center for Investigative Journalism, contains a conversation between students on board describing the moment of sinking.
     
    “The ship is leaning! Yo, help me!''
     
    “It's leaning this way. I can't move.''
     
    “Nonsense. I want to get off. I mean it.''
     
    “Why are you getting your life jacket? You're stupid. We don't want to die. We don't want to die.''
     
    Passengers were directed to hold their positions, not to evacuate.
     
    “Do not move from your current location,'' an unidentified crew member said through loudspeaker.
     
    Some students did not take it seriously and sang a theme song from the movie “Titanic.”
     
    Another student left a last message to parents.
     
    “Please if only I could live. Mom, Dad, I love you.''
     
    The shaky video was on the cellphone of a 17-year-old student, Park Su-hyeon, when rescuers recovered his body. The boy's father provided it Thursday to The Associated Press, saying he wanted to show the world the ship's condition as it sank. Park Jong-dae, the boy's father, earlier released it to select South Korean media.

    Only one can be seen wearing a life jacket at the beginning of the video clips, which start at 8:52 a.m. and end, with a small break between them, at 9:09, when everyone appears to be wearing them.
     
    In the video, some of the students struggle to buckle their life jackets. As the ferry lists, they joke about “final commemorative pictures” and “defying gravity” by trying to walk on the walls.
     
    At the beginning of the video, a message blasts from the ship's loudspeakers: “Don't move away from your places and brace for any possible accidents.''
     
    In subsequent announcements, passengers are again told to stay put, even as some students question whether they should flee. The last message from the bridge comes at 9:08: “We're again announcing: For passengers who can wear life vests, please wear them now. Never move away from your places.''
     
    That warning came eight minutes after a Sewol crew member told a marine traffic official, “The body of the ship has tilted, and it's impossible to move,” according to a transcript.
     
    After the bridge ordered passengers to stay in their cabins, Capt. Lee Joon-seok took at least half an hour to order an evacuation. It is unclear whether that order was ever relayed to passengers. Lee has said he delayed evacuation because of worries about sending passengers into cold waters and fast currents before rescuers arrived.
     
    Lee can be seen in a separate video released by the coast guard leaping from the ferry in his underwear onto a rescue boat while many passengers were still in the sinking ship.
     
    The captain and 14 others responsible for the ferry's navigation have been detained on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Prosecutors are investigating whether stability issues related to too much cargo or a redesign that added more cabins to the ship contributed to the sinking.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

    You May Like

    Ugandan Opposition Candidate: Only Intimidation, Vote Buying Can Prevent Victory

    Kizza Besigye says he has been drawing large crowds and claims he has widespred support ahead of Feb. 18 vote

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    Sanctions Just Got Real for Over 54,000 North Koreans

    Shuttering of Kaesong complex ends virtually any hope of peaceful settlement to long-standing tensions on Korean peninsula in near future

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Kit from: Australia
    May 02, 2014 11:57 PM
    Get a grip, it's not 'murder' to any rationally minded person on the planet, however it is a horrendous and tragic outcome resulting from lack of safety planning drills etc on behalf of the company and most of the crew. The captain shld have identified himself when the rescuers arrived and made it clear to them how many students were trapped, why were ropes dropped into the galleys to pull kids out and windows smashed from the outside to get them out?? And you can't show the faces of the poor kids, who wants to happen across the last dying moments of their son or daughter, the kids videod are not necessarily the ones doing the filming, so you can see how a family member could unwittingly be exposed to traumatising footage, also the families need some privacy, these kids don't belong to the world now, they still belong to their families, no one else.

    by: Joshua from: California
    May 02, 2014 7:52 AM
    This was clearly murder on the part of the crew. I don't know why they are censoring the faces of the dead though.
    In Response

    by: alvin a percy from: sacramento, calif
    May 03, 2014 1:22 AM
    clearly, the captain as well as the crew was at fault. the minute the ship tilted , orders or not that was the time to start bailing out. the captain and crew should not have hesitated for a second. till help arrived in minutes the ocean is the best place instead of the ferry,
    In Response

    by: Emily from: Windsor, ON
    May 02, 2014 12:53 PM
    I just said that to my boyfriend a few minutes ago.

    by: abdulai kargbo from: freetown,sierra leone
    May 01, 2014 3:27 PM
    I wish to express my sympathy to the families of the school children who lost their lives.

    by: Menis from: Ny
    May 01, 2014 2:25 PM
    The captain abandoned the ship and the passengers so he committed a very serious crime and must be tried and EXECUTED!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.