The captain of the sunken South Korean ferry has been charged with murder, along with three crew members. CNN reports the men could face the death penalty; it would be the first time South Korea carried out the sentence in 20 years.
Captain Lee Joon-seok, the chief engineer and first and second mates are facing murder charges for failure to instruct passengers to put on life vests and evacuate to the lifeboats available. In addition, 11 crew members were charged with abandonment and safety violations.
According to prosecution, seven crew members were the first to evacuate the sinking ship. Crew members had not been trained on emergency procedures.
On April 16, 284 people were killed in the accident, most of whom were high school students. 20 people remain missing one month later.
Investigators still do not know what caused the ferry to sink. Unsecured cargo, weight imbalance, overloading and a sharp turn are all possibilities.
Publication date: May 15, 2014