The South Korean ferry captain has been arrested, after an arrest warrant has been issued for the captain and two crew members earlier in the day. Officials are now saying that the captain was not at the helm of the ship as it began to sink and that the captain was one of the first ones to be rescued from the ship. According to officials, 28 people were killed in the sinking of the ship and 270 are still missing. Many of the people jumped into the cold water to save themselves as the ship went down.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the captain of the ferry that sank off the coast of South Korea, an accident that killed 28 people and left nearly 270 missing.
Two other crew members also face arrest, a spokesman for the joint prosecutor and police investigators said Friday.
The spokesman did not provide any further detail.
The cause of the accident still isn’t known. But a South Korean prosecutor said the captain, Lee Joon Suk, wasn’t in the steering room when the Sewol started to sink; a third mate was at the helm.
“It is not clear where (the captain) was when the accident occurred, although it is clear that he was not in the steering room before the actual accident happened,” state prosecutor Jae-Eok Park said Friday.
The captain was one of at least 179 people rescued soon after Wednesday’s sinking.
Compounding that tragedy, one of those rescued, a high school vice principal who was on board the ferry along with more than 300 students, was found hanging from a tree, police said.
Kang Min Kyu, 52, vice principal of Ansan Danwon High School, was among the first survivors to be rescued.
Police said he apparently hanged himself with a belt from a tree near a gymnasium in Jindo, where distraught relatives of missing passengers have been camping out.
Meanwhile, divers raced to reach the hundreds of people still believed to be inside the ship.
Divers breached the hull of the sunken ferry Friday, and two managed to enter the second deck — the cargo deck, the South Korean coast guard said. But rough waters forced them back out again. They didn’t find any bodies in their brief search.