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South Korea ferry disaster funeral comes amid growing anger at rescue effort


Korea

South Korea ferry disaster funeral comes amid growing anger at rescue effort

The funeral of a vice-principal, who committed suicide days after the South Korean ferry disaster, has taken place.

The service for the teacher, one of 173 to be rescued from the capsized vessel, comes amid growing anger over the speed of the rescue operation.

So far 29 bodies have been pulled from the ship, with 273 others still missing.

“I’m frustrated by the sluggish rescue operations. They’ve been going down there for four days now but no progress has been made. They didn’t even get into the ship to figure out whether the children there starvedto death or not,” said one parent of a missing child.

Hopes are fading fast of finding any more survivors from the vessel, which went down on Wednesday (April 16).

Divers are fighting strong tides and murky waters.

The capsize occurred in calm weather on a well-travelled 400 km sea route from the mainland port of Incheon to the holiday island of Jeju some 25 km from land.

Meanwhile, the captain of the ferry has again apologised and said he delayed giving evacuation orders because he feared passengers would “drift away”.

Lee Joon-seok, 69, was detained on Friday along with two of his ship’s crew.

It is also reported that the third mate, who was steering the ship at the time of the disaster, was navigating for the first time.

Senior prosecutor Yang Jung-jin told reporters the 25-year-old mate was at the helm as it passed through an area with lots of islands clustered close together and fast currents.

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