[Ferry Disaster] Ferry operator’s shutdown of response center sparks criticism

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Apr 17, 2014 - 13:17
  • Updated : Apr 18, 2014 - 14:48
The operator of the ill-fated Sewol ferry is under attack for prematurely closing its own response center Thursday, just a day after its ship sank off the southern coast of South Korea.

Chonghaejin Marine Co. cut off media access to its response center, which was opened near Incheon shortly after Wednesday’s ferry accident.

The company made three corrections regarding the number of passengers on board, and is refusing to talk to reporters staked out in front of the office.

The number changed from 477 to 459, then 462, and again to 475 during the course of Wednesday, causing much confusion throughout the country shocked by the tragic accident.

The company said that some passengers bought tickets but did not board the ship, leading to a gap in the passenger figure.

Chonghaejin Marine operates four vessels, including the Sewol, on three routes out of Incheon and Yeosu, as well as river taxis on the Hangang River.

By Suh Ye-seul (