State Negligence Contributed to Sewol Tragedy, Court Says

The South Korean Government also shoulders the responsibility for the Sewol tragedy that took the toll of over 300 lives back in 2014.

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As such, a local court has ordered the government and the shipping company Cheonghaejin Marine to compensate the victims’ families KRW 200 million (USD 177, 000) for each deceased passenger and KRW 40 million to parents of the students that died in the sinking of the ferry, Yonhap reports.

The decision comes as a response to a lawsuit launched by 354 family members of the victims against the state. The families resorted to legal action after evidence emerged that the response and salvage operation after the sinking were mishandled and that there were attempts to cover up the facts.

Investigation into the incident said that several factors had led to the sinking of the ferry, including an illegal remodeling of the ferry to increase the cargo load, cargo overloading, and the steersman’s poor helmsmanship.

The latest ruling says that the state was also guilty of negligence that caused the incident.

The ferry sank off Jindo Island on April 16, 2014, killing 304 people, 250 of which were high school students on a school trip.

World Maritime News Staff