All 15 crew members involved in navigation on the South Korea ferry which capsized last week have now been detained after four more were arrested on Saturday, the prosecutor investigating the disaster has said.
Prosecutor Yang Jung-jin of the joint investigation team said two helmsmen and two members of the steering crew were detained today. Eleven other crew members, including the captain, had been arrested previously.
They are accused of negligence and of failing to help passengers in need as the Sewol ferry sank with 476 people on board on 16 April.
The captain allegedly told passengers to stay in their rooms and took half an hour to issue an evacuation order, by which time the ship was listing severely.
On Friday the government admitted that some recovered bodies had been misidentified and announced a series of changes to prevent such mistakes from happening again. Remains will now be transferred to families when there is a match using DNA testing or fingerprint or dental records.
South Korea ferry disaster
South Korea ferry disaster
1/6 South Korea ferry disaster
A woman ties a yellow ribbon dedicated to dead and missing passengers onboard sunken passenger ship Sewol to a pillar at Yellow Ribbon's Garden set up at Seoul City Hall Plaza
2/6 South Korea ferry disaster
A South Korean man walks past a well-wishing ribbon in Seoul
3/6 South Korea ferry disaster
High school student who are members of the Youth section of the Seoul Alpine Federation, climb to display a sign reading 'My dear friend I will remember you forever' while hoping for the safe return of the sunken ferry Sewol's missing passengers as they hang on a rope bridge on the Ansan mountain in Seoul
4/6 South Korea ferry disaster
High school student hold a sign reading 'My dear friend I will remember you forever' while hoping for the safe return of the sunken ferry Sewol's missing passengers as they hang on a rope bridge on the Ansan mountain in Seoul
5/6 South Korea ferry disaster
File image: A diver gets out from the sea after attempting to search for the missing passengers at the site of the sunken South Korean ferry 'Sewol' off Jindo on 26 April, 2014
6/6 South Korea ferry disaster
South Korean coast guard officers try to rescue passengers from the Sewol ferry as it sinks in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Search officials including a navy spokesman and a diver said 35 of the ferry's 111 rooms have been searched so far, the Yonhap News Agency reported. They said 48 of the bodies recovered were found were in a single large room built to accommodate 38.
Officials leading the search effort said today divers have reached two large rooms where many of those missing could be, but the search had to be suspended because of bad weather.
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Boy and girl found with life jackets tied together
"This morning (the divers) did a primary dive, but because of the strong current they were losing their masks, so we have stopped the dive for now," Kim Jin-hwang, a South Korean navy official in charge of commanding the dive search, said during a briefing at Jindo.
He said the search would resume once conditions improve, but it was unclear when that would happen.
The majority of the 300 dead or missing victims were from a high school near the capital of Seoul after the ferry sank while travelling from Incheon to Jeju Island. Divers have recovered 187 bodies so far.Reuse content