Residents familiar with the area claim that a mistake by the captain may have caused the tragedy that has left nine dead and 287 others unaccounted for.
“Based on my experiences, (I’m) sure that it didn’t happen from a collision with rocks,” said a 49-year-old fisherman surnamed Kim, one of those who helped in the rescue. “It’s an area where big ferries frequently pass by.”
A 47-year-old fisherman surnamed Hwang who has sailed a fishing vessel for over 20 years, expressed a similar view, speculating that a sudden change of direction may have led to the accident.
A total of 180 cars and some 1,160 tons of freight were loaded on the ferry, the maritime authorities said.
About 100 fishermen supported the rescue operation Wednesday, saving more than 60 lives. They headed again to the scene Thursday to help search for survivors.
By Lee Hyun-jeong (email@example.com)