South Korean ferry captain arrested
SEOUL, South Korea (AP/WJLA) - South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that the captain of the South Korean ferry that sank two days ago has been arrested.
Yonhap says 68-year-old Lee Joon-seok was detained early Saturday.
The ship, the Sewol, sank Wednesday, leaving hundreds missing and feared dead. Grief continues to engulf these families still waiting for answers.
A father speaks of the pain many are experiencing:
"Please help my son," he says in Korean. "My baby is crying with fear, lost in the sea."
As excruciating as the wait is for those still missing, there is also growing anger over what families are learning about what happened as the boat was taking on water.
With the captain absent from the bridge, two less experienced crew members were reportedly going too fast and turned too sharply before the boat tilted on its side.
A newly released cell phone footage shows passengers huddled on board, following instructions to stay on the ferry and not evacuate.
Many wearing life jackets on the upper deck managed to survive, but hundreds more stayed below deck as instructed while the captain himself fled in a lifeboat.
Lee Joon-seok explained that he thought it was better for the passengers to wait for a rescue boat. But those boats didn't arrive before the ship went down – after two hours of taking on water.
The investigation into the disaster has focused on the ferry's sharp turn before it started listing, and on whether a quicker evacuation order by the captain could have saved lives. Investigators were also determining whether the captain had abandoned the ship.
Rescuers are searching for about 270 people still missing and feared dead. At least 28 bodies have been recovered. Officials said there were 179 survivors and about 270 people remain missing, many of them high school students.
Yonhap said two crewmembers were also arrested.