South Korean Kids: Crew Insisted We Stay in Ferry

They testify in crew's trial
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2014 7:29 AM CDT
South Korean Kids: Crew Insisted We Stay in Ferry
Relatives of missing passengers of the sunken ferry Sewol release yellow balloons in honor of passengers aboard the ship, 100 days after the ferry sunk, at a port in Jindo, South Korea, July 24, 2014.   (AP Photo/Hyung Min-woo, Yonhap)

Teens aboard the doomed South Korean ferry Sewol testified today as the trial of 15 crew members continues in the April tragedy. Five of the six kids faced away from listeners as they testified, while another testified from another room via video feed, Reuters reports. The teens called for harsh punishments for the crew, saying members "specifically" told the 250-odd students from their high school, who were on a field trip, to stay in their cabins while the ship sank. Those orders were repeated "over and over," a student said, per AFP.

"We were waiting and, when the water started coming in, the class rep told everyone to put on the life vests," said one teen. "The door was above our heads, so she said we'll float and go through the door and that's how we came out." She added that "other kids who got out before us pulled us out." But even after some escaped, a wave pulled them back onto the boat, a student noted. The kids also offered troubling accounts of Coast Guard members, who they said helped them onto lifeboats but didn't actually enter the ship to help them. In a separate development, two reported associates of ferry owner Yoo Byung-un, who was recently found dead, have turned themselves in, Reuters reports. (More South Korea stories.)

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