South Korean President Park Geun-hye has condemned the conduct of some of the crew of the ferry that sank last week, calling it “akin to murder”.

Ms Park said that those to blame would have to take “criminal and civil” responsibility for their actions.  Divers are continuing to recover bodies from the ferry, as they gain access to more of the submerged hull. The death toll now stands at 64, with 238 people still missing, most of them students from a school near Seoul.Bodies are being brought two or three at a time back to Jindo, a southern island close to where the ferry sank.


Rescue workers carry the bodies of passengers who were on the capsized Sewol passenger ship, which sank in the sea off Jindo, at a port where family members of missing passengers have gathered, in Jindo on 21 April 2014

Image: Reuters

Ms Park, whose government has faced criticism over its initial response to the disaster, told aides that the actions of the captain and some of the crew “were utterly incomprehensible, unacceptable and tantamount to murder”, the presidential office said.

“The captain did not comply with passenger evacuation orders from the vessel traffic service… and escaped ahead of others while telling passengers to keep their seats. This is something that is never imaginable legally or ethically,” she said.

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