[WSJ] Ferry Survivors Recall Horror

July 29, 2014


Ferry 2

The ferry Sewol, carrying nearly 500 passengers and crew, capsized in the morning of April 16, killing over 300 people. Ten bodies have yet to be recovered from the wreck. Most of those killed were students.

[THE WALL STREET JOURNAL] As South Korea’s ill-fated ferry tipped over and seawater began filling up its cabins, passengers told to stay inside had to make a last-minute scramble to escape, six young survivors from the tragedy said.

In the first court testimony by survivors of the deadly sinking in April, the high-school students said they initially followed the crew’s orders to stay inside. But as they realized their lives were at risk, they used their life vests and rising water to lift themselves toward an exit.

In their testimony, the students said they stepped on furniture and helped each other by the hand as the ship tilted sideways and pulled them away from the single cabin door that rotated above their heads. All escaped from the same area on the third passenger deck.

“I was trapped inside a cabinet after [a rush of water] forced it over. Luckily there was some air inside. My friend and I told each other not to cry,” one said, adding she initially hid inside the cabinet out of fear.

Once in a corridor free of water, the students said they walked toward daylight. Some said they saw dozens of people behind them engulfed by a swell from the sea. [READ MORE]