Onboard announcements may have worsened ferry disaster

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Apr 17, 2014 - 11:27
  • Updated : Apr 17, 2014 - 11:27

An onboard announcement telling passengers to stay inside the ferry Sewol as it sank off the coast of Jindo Island, South Jeolla Province, appears to have reduced passengers’ chances of survival.

Video clips taken by the survivors show that onboard announcement repeatedly told passengers to stay inside, despite the vessel continuing to tilt.

“Go inside and wait, as the cabin is safer,” a ferry staff is heard saying in a video clip taken by a passenger.

However, the clip also shows that the ship had already tilted sufficiently to prevent people from standing properly.

The clip also contains a shot of a passenger saying that students were still inside.

Survivors have also given similar accounts.

“While a lot of people were in the corridors, announcements to go back into the cabins continued to be made,” a survivor identified by the surname Jung told the local media.

“If the announcement to leave the cabins was made earlier, more people would have been able to reach safety.”

As the ship continued to tilt rapidly, the ship’s crew instructed the passengers to abandon ship. According to those rescued from the ferry, power was cut off as people were evacuating the cabins, hampering their progress.

Survivors have also told the authorities that a large number of people remained inside as they left the sinking ferry.

By Choi He-suk (