South Korea Arrests Owner of Sunken Ferry Operator

Kim Han-sik, president of the Chonghaejin Marine Co., the operator of the sunken ferry Sewol, enters the Incheon District Prosecutors' Office in Incheon, west of Seoul, South Korea, 29 April 2014, to face questioning on criminal charges related to the ferry disaster (DPA).

SEOUL (DPA) — Authorities have arrested the head of the company operating the ferry that sank off South Korea in April leaving more than 300 dead or missing, a news report said.

Kim Han Sik was seized at his home in Bundang, south of Seoul, on charges including manslaughter and vessel safety violations, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing unnamed investigators.

Kim was thought to have approved or tolerated the routine overloading of the Sewol as it plied the route from the western port of Incheon to the southern resort island of Jeju, it said.

The vessel was carrying 3,608 tons of cargo, including 108 vehicles, on April 16 when it capsized and sank on its way to the island, around three times its official limit, investigators have said.

Of the 476 people on board, 172 are now listed as survivors, 35 were missing and 269 bodies were recovered.

Many of the dead were from a high school group of teenagers on an outing.

Rescuers said they hoped to wrap up the recovery operation by Saturday.