Captain, Crew Charged With Manslaughter In Ferry Disaster

Of the fifteen indicted crew members, four have been charged with manslaughter, including the ship's captain, Lee Jun-seok.

Captain, Crew Charged With Manslaughter In Ferry Disaster

Fifteen South Korean ferry crew members have been indicted and the captain and three crew members who left the sinking ship last month have been charged with manslaughter.

"They say the four fled the ill-fated ferry without first evacuating hundreds of passengers on board. ... Prosecutors say some of the crew confessed that they did not attempt to save passengers because they themselves wanted to survive." (Via Arirang)

CNN reports the four could face life in prison, or the death penalty, but that seems unlikely.

"It has been nearly two decades since the capital punishment was last carried out in South Korea."

The Telegraph explains they've been charged with manslaughter through gross negligence.

The New York Times says before the captain, Lee Jun-seok, was jailed, he told reporters he did actually give an evacuation order. 

"But it remained unclear whether such an order, even if issued, was delivered to passengers who were huddled inside the ship after the crew had repeatedly told them to stay inside the dangerously listing ferry."

On April 16, the ferry tilted to one side and filled with water after what reports call a sharp turn. It was also carrying too much cargo. Rescuers had thought they might find survivors inside the ferry using pockets of trapped air, but that hope has since faded.

The official death toll is 281, with 23 people still missing.