South Korean president calls ferry captain, crew's actions "unfo - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

South Korean president calls ferry captain, crew's actions "unforgivable, murderous acts"

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Courtesy: ABC Courtesy: ABC
SEOUL, South Korea (WKOW) -- South Korea's president is calling the actions of the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry "unforgivable, murderous acts."

President Park Geun-hye made the comments Monday.

The captain of the ferry initially told passengers to stay in their rooms, then waited half an hour to issue an evacuation order as the ferry started to sink. By then, the ship had tilted.

Park says the captain and crew "told passengers to stay put but they themselves became the first to escape, after deserting the passengers." She says that "legally and ethically, this is an unimaginable act."

A South Korean prosecutor says four more crew members have been detained. They're accused of failing to protect passengers and abandoning the ship. The ferry's captain and two other crew members were formally arrested on suspicion on negligence and abandoning people in need.

Meanwhile, a radio transcript released Sunday shows chaos and confusions during communications between marine traffic control and the crew aboard the ferry. In it, a crew member told Vessel Traffic Service the ship was "leaning too much, and evacuation is impossible." That was at 9:14 a.m. Minutes later, as the boat continued to list, another crew members asked three times whether rescue would be immediately possible if they did evacuate the ferry's passengers. There was a jumbled response from traffic control.

"If this ferry evacuates passengers, will you be able to rescue them?" the crew member asks.

"At least make them wear life rings and make them escape," the VTS official responded.

"If this ferry evacuates passengers, will they be rescued right away?" the crew member posed again.

"Don't let them go bare -- at least make them wear life rings and make them escape," the VTS official said. "The captain should make the final decision and decide whether you're going to evacuate passengers or not."

"I'm not talking about that," the crew member said. "I asked, if they evacuate now, can they be rescued right away?"

VTS then responds that a rescue helicopter is 10 minutes away, to which boat crew replied: "There are too many passengers. A helicopter would be insufficient."

Recovery crews has found 64 bodies. About 240 people are still missing. 179 were rescued.
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