South Korean President: Ferry Crew's Actions Were "Murderous"

As the official death toll from the disaster rose to 86, the president of South Korea condemned the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry Sewol on Monday, calling their behavior "unforgivable" and "murderous."

President Park Geun-hye made the comments Monday at a Cabinet briefing. "What the captain and part of the crew did is unfathomable from the viewpoint of common sense," she said. "Unforgivable, murderous behavior."

From the Associated Press:

Park said instead of following a marine traffic controller's instructions to "make the passengers escape," the captain "told the passengers to stay put while they themselves became the first to escape."

"Legally and ethically," she said, "this is an unimaginable act."

Captain Lee Joon-seok and two of his crew members were arrested early Saturday morning. If convicted, Lee faces five years in prison. From CNN:

Prosecutor Lee Bong-chang gave more details about the accusations against the captain.

"Mr. Lee is charged with causing the Sewol ship to sink by failing to slow down while sailing the narrow route and making (a) turn excessively," the prosecutor told the semiofficial Yonhap news agency.

"Lee is also charged with failing to do the right thing to guide the passengers to escape and thereby leading to their death or injury."

On Monday, authorities arrested four other crew members—two first mates, one second mate and a chief engineer.

[Image via AP]