Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Ferry firm head gets 10 years over sinking

Published:Friday | November 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A family member of passengers aboard the sunken ferry Sewol cries after a pretrial hearing of crew members of the ferry, at Gwangju District Court in Gwangju, South Korea. - AP
South Korean rescue helicopters fly over a South Korean passenger ship, trying to rescue passengers from the ship in waters off the southern coast of South Korea, on April 16.


A South Korean court sentenced the head of a ferry operator to 10 years in prison yesterday over an April ship sinking that killed more than 300 people, mostly teenage students.

Kim Han-sik, president of Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd, also received a two million won (US$1,800) fine for failing to stop the improper storage and overloaded cargo on the ship that judges ruled contributed to the sinking, the Gwangju District Court said in a statement.

Four other Chonghaejin officials were sentenced to three to six years in prison on similar charges, and two other company employees got suspended prison sentences, according to a court verdict.

An official from the Korea Shipping Association, which oversees safety issues of ships, was sentenced to three years in prison for allowing the ferry to leave a port near Seoul without checking its cargo and storage, the verdict said. Two employees at a private company that loaded the ship both received a two-year prison term, it said.