MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — A senior prosecutor says that the third mate was navigating a South Korean ferry through tricky waters for the first time before it capsized. The mate, another crew member and the captain are in custody. The captain is suspected of negligence and abandoning people in need. Some 270 people are missing and presumed dead, trapped inside the ship. Three more bodies have been recovered from the water, bringing the official death toll to 32.
The captain of the ferry is under arrest on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two crew members are also in custody.
A senior prosecutor says the third mate was navigating the ferry through tricky waters among some islands for the first time. The prosecutor said earlier that the captain was not on the bridge as required when the ferry Sewol was passing through the area. The official also says the captain abandoned people in need of help and rescue, escaping before the passengers.
Angry relatives of those missing in the South Korean ferry disaster vented their outrage at officials holding a briefing today. A few dozen relatives surged toward the stage, hurling rapid-fire questions at the officials. One man tried to choke a coast guard lieutenant and punch a maritime policeman, but missed.