A relative looks at the name list of missing people in Jindo, South Korea, April 16, 2014
The vice-principal who accompanied hundreds of South Korean high school students onboard the ferry that capsized and sank on Wednesday has committed suicide, police said yesterday.
The vessel Sewol, carrying 476 people, headed to the resort island of Jeju from the port of Incheon when it capsized.
Over 300 students from the Danwon High School in Ansan were on the ferry for a four-day field trip to the island.
Kang Min-gyu, 52, had been missing since Thursday. He appeared to have hanged himself with his belt from a tree outside a gym in the port city of Jindo where relatives of the people missing on the ship, mostly children from the school, were gathered.
Police said Kang did not leave a suicide note and that they had started looking for him after he was reported missing by a fellow teacher. He was rescued from the ferry after it capsized.
Twenty-eight people had been officially declared dead before Kang’s suicide. One hundred and seventy-four were rescued.
The government has changed the total number of passengers and the number of people rescued, saying that there were inaccuracies in the count without further elaboration. Reuters says that 274 people are still missing.
Four Chinese nationals were among those onboard the vessel, the Chinese embassy in Seoul confirmed yesterday, including a young female student, a couple on vacation and another man who was working in South Korea.
Investigators on Saturday also arrested the 69-year-old captain and two of his crew on charges of negligence and failure to secure safety of passengers in violation of maritime law, Xinhua said.
Captain Lee Joon-seok had previously admitted that he was not at the helm when the ship began to sink. id, “I am sorry to the people of South Korea for causing a disturbance and I bow my head in apology to the families of the victims,” he said.
[Image via Xinhua]