S.Korea Ferry Boss's Driver Turns Self In
The driver of a South Korean businessman wanted over the sinking of a ferry that killed 304 people turned himself in on Tuesday, potentially unlocking the mystery of the businessman's final days after the country's worst maritime disaster in 44 years. Prosecutors in the port city of Incheon said the driver, Yang Hoe-jung, turned himself in at their office, which is leading the investigation into the role of businessman Yoo Byung-un in the sinking of the ferry Sewol. Yoo's body was found by a farmer in an orchard on June 12. The structurally defective and heavily overloaded ferry capsized and sank on a routine journey on April 16, killing 304 people, 250 of them teenagers from the same school on a class field trip. Twelve of their teachers were also killed.
South Korean Teens: Left to Escape Sinking Ferry
Students testify no help came from crew; Coastguard rescuers were passive, only pulling passengers out. Crew in a state of panic, witness says. Six teenagers who survived South Korea's worst maritime disaster in 44 years told on Monday how classmates helped them float free as water flooded their cabins despite crew instructions to stay put even as their ferry sank, killing more than 300 people. The teenagers, whose names were withheld to protect their privacy, were giving testimony at the trial of 15 crew members, who face charges ranging from homicide to negligence for abandoning the sinking ship. "We were waiting and, when the water started coming in, the class rep told everyone to put on the life vests ...
Cause of S.Korea Ferry Businessman's Death Remains Unknown
Yoo's body too badly decomposed to determine cause of death; mystery surrounding final days of de-factor owner of doomed ferry deepens. Yoo's son arrested in latest capture of family members. South Korea's forensic agency said on Friday it was impossible to determine the cause of death of a businessman linked to a ferry that sank and killed 304 people in April, deepening the mystery surrounding the final days of Korea's most wanted man. An autopsy and DNA tests on the badly decomposed body of Yoo Byung-un revealed no evidence that he was poisoned, and there was also no indication of external trauma, forensic agency chief Seo Joong-seok told a news conference.
Korea Ferry Businessman's Body Located
Yoo had been target of South Korea's largest manhunt; Failure of police to catch Yoo had been burden for Park government. The body of South Korea's most wanted man, linked to the sinking of a ferry in April that killed 300 people, was identified more than a month after being found in an orchard, police said on Tuesday, with his book and empty bottles of alcohol nearby. The police chief in charge of the case in a small city in the south of the country was sacked on Tuesday for not recognizing the book, or putting two and two together, and for not identifying the corpse earlier. Police said that DNA and fingerprint evidence from the heavily decomposed body found on June 12 showed it to be that of Yoo Byung-un, 73, the target for more than two months of South Korea's largest manhunt.
South Korea Police: Body May Be Ferry Disaster Fugitive's
South Korean police are trying to confirm the identity of a body they believe may have been the fugitive head of the family that owned the operator of a ferry that capsized in April, killing more than 300 people, a police official told Reuters. Yoo Byung-un is accused of embezzlement, negligence and tax evasion and has been the subject of a two-month nationwide manhunt. A reward of nearly half a million dollars has been offered. A police official said the body was found last month in a plum field in the southern city of Suncheon near a retreat where police have suspected Yoo may have been hiding, and that forensics examinations had found that the body's DNA resembled Yoo's. Further examination was underway, the official said.
South Korea Ferry Victims Only Steps from Safety
Many of the 250 children who drowned when a South Korean ferry sank in April would have survived if the crew had issued a simple order to evacuate to emergency decks just outside their cabins, a prosecutor said on Tuesday. Fifteen surviving crew of the ferry Sewol, including the ship's captain, are on trial on charges ranging from negligence to homicide after they told passengers to stay put in their cabins before abandoning the sharply listing vessel. The court in Gwangju, the city closest to the scene of the April 16 disaster…
Sewol Ferry Major Shareholder Lodges Receivership Application
The major shareholder of the South Korean operator of the ferry on which hundreds of high school students drowned in April has applied for receivership, a court said on Monday. Chonhaiji Co Ltd, a ship block maker and the major shareholder of ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine Company, lodged its application at the Changwon District Court last week, a court official said. Chonghaejin Marine owned the Sewol, which sank on April 16 on a routine journey between the mainland port of Incheon and the holiday island of Jeju.
Ferry Family Boss Eludes South Korea Manhunt
South Korea's biggest and most bizarre manhunt, linked to a ferry disaster in which hundreds drowned, has come full circle at the compound of a sect known for its organic ice cream as police on Thursday used earth movers to search for tunnels. Police have raided the grounds of the Evangelical Baptist Church in Anseong, a two-hour drive south of Seoul, twice as they try to flush out church co-founder Yoo Byung-un, 73, South Korea's most wanted man since the Sewol ferry sank in April killing more than 300 people, mostly children from the same school.
South Korea's Bizarre Manhunt for Ferry Family Boss
South Korea's biggest and most bizarre manhunt, linked to a ferry disaster in which hundreds drowned, has come full circle at the compound of a sect known for its organic ice cream as police on Thursday used earth movers to search for tunnels. Police have raided the grounds of the Evangelical Baptist Church in Anseong, a two-hour drive south of Seoul, twice as they try to flush out church co-founder Yoo Byung-un, 73, South Korea's most wanted man since the Sewol ferry sank in April killing more than 300 people, mostly children from the same school. But, so far, Yoo, a businessman and photographer who was once jailed for fraud, has eluded capture in a case which has become an embarrassment for authorities already under pressure for their handling of the disaster.
Emotions Run High in Court as Korea Ferry Crew Face Trial
Captain caught abandoning boat in his underwear as children stayed in cabins; "Imagine the children were yours," mourning families tell crew. Fifteen crew of a South Korean ferry that sank in April killing more than 300 people, most of them children, went on trial on Tuesday on charges ranging from negligence to homicide, with the shout going up of "murderer" as the captain entered the court. Captain Lee Joon-seok, 68, and three senior crew members were charged with homicide, facing a maximum sentence of death. Two were charged with fleeing and abandoning ship that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Nine were charged with negligence, which can also carry jail terms.
South Korean, Linked to Ferry, Denied Asylum
A South Korean businessman and Christian sect leader, wanted on charges tied to a ferry disaster in which more than 300 passengers drowned, sought asylum at a Seoul embassy but was rejected, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Yoo Byung-un, 73, is wanted on charges of embezzlement, negligence and tax evasion stemming from his control of a web of business interests centred on an investment firm owned by his sons that owned the operator of the doomed Sewol that sank on April 16. "By international law, Yoo Byung-un is not a refugee but is a fugitive with an arrest warrant outstanding, so anyone who helps him flee will be deemed to be aiding his escape and will be firmly punished," a prosecutor said.
Families of S.Korea Ferry Dead March on Presidential Palace
Parents of children killed when a passenger ferry sank last month led a sombre march on South Korea's presidential palace in the early hours of Friday morning, where they demanded to meet with President Park Geun-hye. Clutching memorial portraits of their children, family members and grieving parents were prevented by riot police from nearing the palace, and instead sat in the middle of the road where they sobbed, wailed and shouted in anger. "Listen to us, President Park. Just give us ten seconds!," one family member said, using a portable address system. "Why are you blocking the way?," said another. Seated on the ground in the middle of the night, they wore beige blankets and huddled in rows on the cold floor.
Grieving South Korea Seeks Arrest of Ferry Owners
South Korean prosecutors are seeking the arrest of members of the family that owns the operator of a ferry that sank last month killing hundreds of school children, an avoidable tragedy that rocked the country to the core. Prosecutors may also seek the extradition of a son of the reclusive head of the family from the United States, an official said on Thursday. The Sewol, overloaded and travelling too fast on a turn, capsized and sank on a routine journey from Incheon on the mainland to the southern holiday island of Jeju. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. Only 172 people have been rescued and the remainder are all presumed to have drowned.
Ferry Tragedy: Boy Who Raised Alarm Had No Time To Call Parents
The frightened boy who first raised the alarm that a South Korean ferry with hundreds on board was sinking did not have time to call his parents, his father said, and was found dead not wearing a life jacket. Choi called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters. The Sewol ferry sank on April 16 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 from one high school on a field trip, have died or are missing and presumed dead.
Lawyer: Korea Ferry Owners Accept Responsibilities
The family that has a major stake in companies that control the shipping operator whose ferry sank last week, likely to have killed hundreds, will take social and legal responsibility for the incident, its lawyer said. The lawyer did not say that the family was assuming liability for what he termed a "tragic accident" and said that the family had not been summoned by prosecutors. "Yoo and his family will take all legal and social responsibility for this tragic accident if they have to as major stakeholders of the company," Son Byoung-gi told Reuters. Yoo Byung-un is the founder of a company that went bankrupt in the 1990s and whose shipping assets now form part of Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd. that is owned by investment funds controlled by his two sons, Yoo Dae-kyun and Yoo Hyuck-ki.
Korean Ferry: Pair Drowned with PFD's Tied Together
A boy and girl trapped in a sinking South Korean ferry with hundreds of other high school students tied their life jacket cords together, a diver who recovered their bodies said, presumably so they wouldn't float apart. The diver had to separate the two because he could not carry two corpses up to the surface at the same time. "I started to cry thinking that they didn't want to leave each other," he told the Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper on the island of Jindo on Thursday, near where the overloaded ferry went down last week. The parents of the boy whose shaking voice first raised the alarm that an overloaded ferry was sinking believe his body has also been found, the coastguard said.
Korean Prosecutors Raid Home of Ferry's Owner
Prosecutors investigating the fatal sinking of a South Korean ferry have raided the home of Yoo Byung-un, the head of a family that owns the Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd, the company that operated the ship. Kim Hoe-Jong, a prosecutor on the case, said Wednesday's raid was part of a probe into "overall corruption in management". Of the 476 passengers and crew on board the Sewol, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing to the holiday island of Jeju. Only 174 people have been rescued and the remainder are presumed to have drowned. The confirmed death toll on Wednesday was 150. South Korean prosecutors and agencies tend to adopt a blanket approach in raids, rather than targeting specific lines of inquiry.