Sewol Ferry Disaster in South Korea ￼
On April 16, 2014, the Sewol passenger ferry carrying 476 people capsized and sank in what is now referred to as the deadliest maritime disaster in South Korea. In total, 294 passengers were killed, including 245 students who were on a field trip from Danwon High School. Still missing are 9 passengers – including 4 students, 2 teachers, and 3 others including a father and his 6-year-old. In spite of the international outrage, there has not yet been a comprehensive investigation on what caused the Sewol to sink, why the passengers were not promptly rescued, and why the sunken ship has still not been salvaged.
Why did the Sewol ferry capsize?
The ferry should have been deemed unsafe to begin with. It had been retired after 18 years of service, but was purchased by Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd. after deregulations allowed for its extended use. The ferry then underwent an illegal redesign to carry more passengers and cargo than it should have been allowed to, and in ways that ultimately affected the ferry’s load balance. There is a lot of speculation as to why exactly the Sewol capsized the way it did, and many troubling questions remain unanswered.