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Malfunctioning life rafts, escape chutes found on Sewol sistership

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July 2, 2014

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Malfunctioning life rafts, escape chutes found on Sewol sistership

An investigation on board sunken Korean ferry Sewol’s sister ship Ohamana has uncovered inadequately maintained life rafts and escape chutes.

With the death toll from Sewol standing at 181, with 121 missing, her sistership, also owned and operated by Chonghaejin Marine, was found to have 40 non-operational life rafts, malfunctioning emergency slides, missing car-lashing equipment and poorly functioning container lashing.

The checks were part of a series of investigations into the ferry company, with authorities raiding the home of founder Yoo Byung-un on 23 April’14. Yoo and his two sons have been barred from leaving the country.

Meanwhile the ferry’s captain Lee Joon-seok, two first mates, one second mate and a chief engineer have been arrested on negligence charges after reports that passengers were not instructed to put on life jackets and were told to remain in their cabins while crew fled the sinking vessel, an act which Korean President Park Geun-hye condemned the tragedy as “akin to murder”.

The vessel was carrying 476 passengers and crew, 339 of who were children and teachers on a school trip. Divers continue to search the ship, with a robot deployed to float Sewol’s upturned hull. 174 have been rescued.An investigation on board sunken Korean ferry Sewol’s sister ship Ohamana has uncovered inadequately maintained life rafts and escape chutes.

With the death toll from Sewol standing at 181, with 121 missing, her sistership, also owned and operated by Chonghaejin Marine, was found to have 40 non-operational life rafts, malfunctioning emergency slides, missing car-lashing equipment and poorly functioning container lashing.

The checks were part of a series of investigations into the ferry company, with authorities raiding the home of founder Yoo Byung-un on Wednesday. Yoo and his two sons have been barred from leaving the country.

Meanwhile the ferry’s captain Lee Joon-seok, two first mates, one second mate and a chief engineer have been arrested on negligence charges after reports that passengers were not instructed to put on life jackets and were told to remain in their cabins while crew fled the sinking vessel, an act which Korean President Park Geun-hye condemned the tragedy as “akin to murder”.

The vessel was carrying 476 passengers and crew, 339 of who were children and teachers on a school trip. Divers continue to search the ship, with a robot deployed to float Sewol’s upturned hull. 174 have been rescued.

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