JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

S Korean president apologises over ferry disaster

S Korean president apologises over ferry disaster

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 11:27 GMT+7

SEOUL, April 29 - South Korean President Park Geun-Hye apologised Tuesday for her government's failure to prevent a ferry disaster that left some 300 people dead or missing.

Two days after her prime minister resigned over the tragedy, Park voiced profound regret at the systemic and regulatory failings that contributed to the capsize of the 6,825-tonne Sewol on April 16.

"I feel so regretful for having been unable to correct such long-running evils and letting an accident like this take place," she said in a statement to her cabinet that was broadcast on national television.

Park's government has been widely criticised over perceived corruption and lax safety standards that may have led to the disaster, with claims that the ferry was overloaded and that the passenger list was inaccurate and incomplete.

Relatives of the more than 100 passengers still missing have also blasted the response to the sinking, saying delays in launching the rescue had cost lives.

"I don't know how to apologise for the failure to prevent this accident, and for the insufficient first response," Park said.

"I am sorry to the people and heavy-hearted that many precious lives were lost," she added.

Earlier Tuesday, the president had travelled to Ansan, just south of Seoul where she paid her respects to a memorial for the hundreds of schoolchildren who died in the disaster.

Of the 476 people on board the Sewol, 325 were students from the same high school in Ansan. Only 75 of them were rescued.

AFP

More

Read more

Rare photos of uncontacted Amazon tribes

Members of an uncontacted Amazon Basin tribe and their dwellings are seen during a flight over the Brazilian state of Acre along the border with Peru, May 2008

20 hours ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Latest news

Rare photos of uncontacted Amazon tribes

Members of an uncontacted Amazon Basin tribe and their dwellings are seen during a flight over the Brazilian state of Acre along the border with Peru, May 2008