April 23, 2014 10:19
The captain of the ill-fated ferry Sewol has claimed he hurt his hip when the ferry suddenly tilted and rescuers told him to abandon ship.
Lee Joon-seok (69) made the claim under questioning by police on Wednesday, but an X-ray at a hospital in Mokpo last Saturday showed that there was nothing wrong with his hip.
Lee lied to rescue workers and officials after he was picked up, leaving hundreds of passengers trapped aboard the ferry, and told them he was just an ordinary passenger.
He will be charged with willful neglect of his duties.
Investigators have found that none of the Sewol crew had any knowledge of the ship's manual and underwent no safety training. "None of the Sewol crew, including its captain, seem to be properly qualified," an investigator said.
All crew of passenger ships must undergo regular training for accidents. According to the ship manual prepared by ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine, all crew must practice putting out fires, rescuing passengers and abandoning ship every 10 days. They must also practice preparing for damage to the ship caused by collisions, hitting rocks or engine trouble and for human casualties every six months.
But investigators said none of the Sewol crew went through such training.
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