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South Korea ferry disaster: Captain praised safety in promotional video

Published on Apr 21, 2014 11:32 AM
Lee Joon-Seok, captain of South Korean ferry Sewol, walks out of court after an investigation in Mokpo on April 19, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

JINDO (REUTERS) - The captain of a ferry that sank off South Korea's southwestern tip with hundreds feared dead said in a promotional video four years ago that the journey was safe - as long as passengers followed the instructions of the crew.

The irony is the crew ordered the passengers, mostly high school children, to stay put in their cabins as the ferry sank last Wednesday. As is customary in hierarchical Korean society, the orders were not questioned.

However, many of those who escaped alive either did not hear or flouted the instructions and were rescued as they jumped off the deck.

Sixty-four people are known to have died and 238 are missing, presumed dead in the upturned hull of the stricken Sewol ferry. Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and other crew members have been arrested.

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