The crew of the ferry Sewol abandoned ship even as they saw two injured cooks on the floor, it was revealed Tuesday. The two cooks are still missing.
Investigators are considering bringing charges of homicide by omission against crewmembers including the chief engineer who abandoned passengers and other crew on the ferry.
The ferry’s captain Lee Joon-seok and a dozen sailors are already under arrest on charges of negligence and abandoning passengers. They were among the first to be rescued after the ferry capsized, and stand accused of failing to fulfill their obligation to evacuate passengers.
According to investigators, seven crew were waiting in the hallway in front of the engineers' cabins on the third floor. When they learned of the arrival of the rescue boats, they ran out on deck and were one of the first to be rescued. At the time, they saw two cooks on the floor, unable to move due to their injuries, but did not help them and left.
Two of them confessed that they saw the cooks but made no efforts to help them and four others witnessed the scene, investigators said.