After today's recovery efforts the death toll in the South Korean ferry accident rose to 46. There are only 174 known survivors of the total 476 abroad the Sewol.
As the death toll rose to 32, the fallout from this week's South Korean ferry accident continued today with the arrest of the ferry's captain and two crew members. The three were reportedly picked up on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need.
As he headed for jail, Captain Lee Joon-seok defended his controversial decision to not order an evacuation until 30 minutes after a sharp turn caused the ferry to tilt heavily and eventually sink.
"At the time, the current was very strong, the temperature of the ocean water was cold, and I thought that if people left the ferry without (proper) judgment, if they were not wearing a life jacket, and even if they were, they would drift away and face many other difficulties. The rescue boats had not arrived yet, nor were there any civilian fishing ships or other boats nearby at that time.”
The ship had 476 people abroad, many of whom were students from a single high school. As we noted earlier, the vice principal of the school, who survived the disaster, was found dead of an apparent suicide yesterday.
As divers fight strong waters to reach more bodies in the ferry, relatives of the passengers ominously handed authorities DNA swabs to potentially help them identify the victims.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.