Home' Greymouth Star : April 22nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 5
Jindo, South Korea
South Korean President Park
Geun-hye said overnight the
actions of some crew of a ferry
that sank with hundreds feared
dead were tantamount to murder,
as a four-year-old video transcript
showed the captain promoting the
safety of the same route.
Sixty-four people are known to
have died and 238 are missing,
presumed dead, in the sinking of
the Sewol ferry last Wednesday.
Most of the victims are high
Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and
two other crew members were
arrested on negligence charges,
with prosecutors announcing four
further arrests --- two rst mates,
one second mate and a chief
engineer --- on Sunday.
Lee was also charged with
undertaking an "excessive change
of course without slowing down"
while traversing a narrow channel.
Several crew members, including
the captain, left the ferry as it was
sinking, ahead of the passengers,
witnesses have said. Park said the
crew's desertion was tantamount to
"Above all, the conduct of the
captain and some crew members is
unfathomable from the viewpoint
of common sense, and it was like
an act of murder that cannot and
should not be tolerated," she told
Lee, the captain, said in a
promotional video four years ago
that the journey from the port city
of Incheon to the holiday island of
Jeju was safe --- as long as passengers
followed the instructions of the
He also told a newspaper that he
had been involved in a sea accident
o Japan years before.
e irony of the video is the crew
ordered the passengers to stay put
in their cabins as the ferry sank.
As is customary in hierarchical
Korean society, the orders were not
However, many of those who
escaped alive either did not hear or
outed the instructions and were
rescued as they abandoned ship.
Of the 476 passengers and crew
on board, 339 were children and
teachers on a high school outing.
"Passengers who take our ship
to and from Incheon and Jeju can
enjoy a safe and pleasant trip and
I believe it is safer than any other
vehicle as long as they follow the
instructions of our crew members,"
Lee said in the 2010 promotional
video, according to transcripts
broadcast by regional cable station
OBS. He was not referring to the
Sewol, which came into service on
that route in 2013.
e Jeju Today newspaper
interviewed Lee in 2004 when
he spoke of close shaves at sea
including passing through a
typhoon and a previous sinking o
" e rst ship I took was a log
carrier vessel and it capsized near
Okinawa. A helicopter from Japan's
Self-Defence Force came and
rescued me. Had it not been for
their help, I wouldn't be here now."
e newspaper did not give
Parents of the children missing
in the accident in what is likely
to turn out to be one of South
Korea's worst maritime disasters
sat exhausted from days of grief
overnight, waiting for the almost
inevitable news that their loved
ones had died.
ey have spent all their time
since the accident in a gymnasium
in the port city of Jindo.
Divers are retrieving the bodies at
a faster pace and some parents have
moved from the gymnasium to the
pier to await news.
Others stay put on their
mattresses in the gym, where one
by one, parents are informed that a
body matches a family DNA swab,
prompting wailing and collapses.
A clearer picture has started to
emerge of the time around the
accident after coastguards released
a recording of a conversation
between vessel controllers and the
According to the transcript, the
controllers told the captain to
"decide how best to evacuate the
passengers" and that he should
"make the nal decision on whether
or not to evacuate".
Lee was not on the bridge when
the ship turned.
Navigation was in the hands of a
26-year old third mate who was in
charge for the rst time on that part
of the journey, according to crew
e transcript shows crew on
the ship worried there were not
enough rescue boats to take all the
Witnesses said the captain and
some crew members took to rescue
boats before the passengers.
Ferry sinking 'tantamount to murder'
PICTURE: Getty Images
Rescue workers carry a victim of the sunken ferry o the coast of Jindo Island. At least 64 people are reported dead, with 238 still missing.
Nepali families cremated eight Mount
Everest sherpas overnight as anger grew
over how much compensation should
be paid to victims of the single deadliest
avalanche on the world's highest
e eight bodies, out of a total of 13
recovered at the weekend, were driven
through Nepal's capital city in open
trucks, their co ns draped in yellow
and cream cloth, before being cremated
At one ceremony below Nepal's famous
Swayambhunath religious complex,
relatives wept for their loved ones as four
bodies were set on re while Buddhist
monks beat drums, crashed cymbals,
blew pipes and chanted prayers.
Vern Tejas, a member of the Seattle-
based Alpine Ascents hiking group,
turned out to pay his respects after ve
sherpas working with his group died in
"We are here today to express
condolences as well as my mourning for
their loss. ey were not only employees.
ey were dear friends," Tejas, dressed
in black glasses, hat and shirt said.
"Without them we can't climb this
mountain. Right now we are stunned
and in a state of deep grief."
At least 13 guides were killed, three
are missing and at least three others are
under intensive care for broken limbs,
ribs, blood clots and other injuries in
Kathmandu hospitals after an avalanche
swept the Khumbu Icefall, one of the
most dangerous parts of the climb to
e men were trying to x ropes and
crack snow and ice to car ve out a route
for foreign climbers through the icefall,
located not far above Everest Base
Camp, when they were caught in the
e accident has re-ignited debate
on the risks sherpas take and on
overcrowding on Everest.
e number of fatal accidents has
risen in the past decades as more and
more commercial expeditions --- the
government has issued 334 permits
this season, up from 328 last year --- are
After meeting at the base camp
of the 8850-m summit on Sunday,
sherpas with 31 foreign expeditions
demanded $10,000 in compensation
for the families of victims, a doubling of
insurance cover for climbs, and agreed
to launch protests if their demands were
Ed Marzec, a 67-year old climber who
was at the base camp, said that 350 of the
sherpas had voted to suspend their work
helping climbers on Everest, although
this could not be independently veri ed.
e government has announced an
immediate payment of $400 to the
victims' families to cover funeral costs.
ere is no provision for compensation
for sherpas who are hired by international
expeditions to carry gear, and in the past
these groups have provided nancial
assistance on their own in the case of
Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man
Singh, who placed marigold garlands
over the eight co ns driven through
Kathmandu, declined to say whether
the government would meet the sherpas'
demands for greater compensation.
" e government is positive about
their demands. But the concerned
(tourism minister) will come up with his
recommendations on the demands for
the consideration of the government,"
Besides the cash compensation, the
mountain guides have demanded that
the government pay for the treatment of
the injured and raise the insurance cover
"If the demands are not met, we will
be forced to launch strong protests for
the sake of daily bread of the entire
sherpa community," the sherpas said in
Sherpas demand more compensation
e Discovery Network
is cancelling a daredevil's
planned jump o the
summit of Mount Everest
in a wing suit next month
following the avalanche
that killed at least 13
Laurie Goldberg said
the network's thoughts
and prayers went out to
the Sherpa community
of guides who were
the victims of Friday's
Jumper Joby Ogwyn
already was at Everest
in advance of the jump,
which was scheduled to
be televised live on May
11 worldwide. --- AP
A United States company says its
new powdered alcohol product has
been approved by US regulators and
is poised to hit stores in the coming
Palcohol is made by an Arizona
company called Lipsmark and will
come in six varieties of single-drink
pouches, the company website says.
Drinkers can stir in simple water
for a shot of rum or vodka, add cola
or orange juice for a mixer or create
a cocktail --- either a cosmopolitan,
mojito, margarita or lemon drop.
e company said it was taken
by surprise by the recent release of
some of its labels by the Alcohol and
Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which
"actually approved it some time ago."
e company said the product would
be sold to people of legal drinking age
and could even be sprinkled on food.
" ink of Palcohol as liquor... just in
powder form. It will be sold anywhere
where liquor can be sold," the
company, adding it will be available
in the United States, as well as abroad
and on-line said. A patent for the
mixture is pending. In response to
consumer inquiries about whether the
product could be snorted, the company
described the askers as "goofballs" and
said it would take a half cup of powder
to equal one drink.
"Don't do it! It is not a responsible
or smart way to use the product," it
urged. Powdered alcohol has already
been approved for sale in Japan and
some European countries. --- AFP
Powdered alcohol --- just add water and stir
e Queen's 88th birthday has been
marked with traditional gun salutes.
e King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery
red the 41-gun royal salute from Green
Park in central London at midday, using
six 13-pounder First World War guns
drawn by 71 horses.
An hour later the Honourable Artillery
Company red a 62-gun royal salute
from Tower Wharf by the Tower of
e Queen spent the day privately at
Windsor Castle, a Buckingham Palace
Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
was born at 2.40am on April 21, 1926
--- the rst child of the then Duke and
Duchess of York --- at 17 Bruton Street,
the Mayfair home of her mother's
parents, the Earl and Countess of
She is the great-great-grandchild
of Queen Victoria, the last female
e Queen has two birthdays --- her
actual one on April 21 and her o cial
one in June, which is celebrated with the
Trooping the Colour parade.
A portrait of the Queen by renowned
British photographer David Bailey was
released on Sunday ahead of her 88th
e photograph of the monarch,
smiling, was taken at Buckingham
Palace in March and commissioned
on behalf of the Government's Great
e Queen is wearing pearls and a
dress by Angela Kelly, who has served as
personal assistant and senior dresser to
her since 2002. --- PA
A massive blaze that ripped through
the historic Chilean port city of
Valparaiso last week, killing 15 people,
has nally been brought under control.
e national forestry agency, however,
said at the weekend that re ghters
were still monitoring certain hotspots
within the perimeter set up around
the blaze where they feared the ames
could again are up.
" e perimeter is under control,"
Ricardo Bravo, the regional governor of
Valparaiso, told local media overnight.
He too cautioned that ames could
again pick up but insisted they would
be quickly handled.
e re, which o cials said destroyed
2900 homes, was one of the worst
ever in Valparaiso --- a Unesco World
Heritage site famous for its colourful
homes perched on hills and its cable
It erupted in a forested area on the
outskirts of the city on April 12, and
mainly a ected Valparaiso's poorer
About 1000 people were still living in
emergency shelters in the wake of the
blaze and more than 1500 families were
still without power.
Millions of Chilean and foreign
tourists visit Valparaiso each year.
e city --- once the most important
port in the South Paci c --- saw its
heyday in the 19th century, but lost
its lustre when the Panama Canal was
built in the early 20th century. --- AFP
A three-year-old girl has been
injured after being left in a burning
car allegedly stolen by her father.
Police rescued the girl from the
ames after the vehicle crashed
into a barrier on the Great Eastern
Highway in Perth's outer north-
east suburbs on Sunday night.
e driver had run away leaving
the girl in the burning car, police
He was found nearby in Midvale
and was taken to Swan Districts
Hospital for treatment to injuries
received in the crash.
e girl is in Princess Margaret
Hospital in a serious but stable
Police were rst called to a
home in the northern suburb of
Ellenbrook just after 10pm on
Sunday to deal with a domestic
ey learned that a 25-year-old
man had left in an allegedly stolen
vehicle with his daughter.
O cers found the car an hour
later, but the driver failed to stop
and police decided not to pursue
because the child was in the car.
Instead, police monitored the
vehicle which is believed to have
hit another car before being found
smashed into a concrete barrier.
e man allegedly failed a breath
test at the hospital and was taken to
Midland Police Station where he
was charged with being armed in a
way that may cause fear, aggravated
assault occasioning bodily harm
and criminal damage.
He was also charged with a
number of driving o ences,
including stealing a motor vehicle
and dangerous driving occasioning
He appeared at a bedside hearing
at Royal Perth Hospital yesterday
and was remanded in custody.
Two of Berlin's top landmarks, a
peace chapel in a bombed ruin and
the city's fabulous main zoo, are now
anked by an ultra-trendy shopping
mall that goes by the name Bikini
e mall combines a curated
selection of boutiques with agship
stores and food services.
e mall opened at the beginning of
April and has over 50 shops.
Among the shopping innovations
are 20 stationary pop-up stores
called "boxes", which can be rented
by retailers for up to one year. e
mall's owners say this will provide an
element of variety for shoppers.
e complex is situated next to the
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church,
a chapel popular with tourists which
contrasts the militarism of 100 years
ago with Germany's modern-day
paci sm. It is sited at the end of the
Kurfuerstendamm shopping street,
where most tourists visiting Berlin
go to shop. Bikini Berlin is located
in a six- oor building constructed in
the 1950s that has undergone three
years of refurbishment. Berliners
a ectionately dubbed the building
the Bikini Haus, as one of the middle
oors was originally open sided. Locals
decided the two-tier structure looked
a little like two-piece swimwear, a new
fashion at that time.
One of the building's architectural
highlights is the rooftop terrace, which
has a view of the monkey enclosure in
the adjoining Berlin Zoo. --- DPA
Blaze finally under control Child left in burning car
Ultra-trendy mall f lanks Berlin landmarks
A runaway car has crashed into a
Florida church, smashing through a
wall and injuring about 20 worshippers
attending Easter services.
About 20 people were hurt when the
Lexus sedan crashed into the Second
Haitian Baptist Church in the city of
Fort Myers where some 200 people
had gathered for an evening ser vice on
" e vehicle crashed through the
wall driving over several occupied
pews," a police department statement
said. "Parishioners used vehicle jacks
and brute force to lift the vehicle in
order to rescue several others trapped
beneath the Lexus sedan while waiting
for medics," police said, adding that
some of the injured treated by area
hospitals were listed as being in serious
condition. O cials said the driver, the
lone occupant of the vehicle, said her
brakes had failed and that she lost
control of the car. --- AFP
Car slams into church injuring worshippers
A teenage boy who ran
away from home survived
a ve-hour ight in the
freezing wheel well of
a jetliner that reached
11,582m as it travelled
from California to
Hawaii, the FBI said.
e 16-year-old, from
Santa Clara, California,
quickly lost consciousness
as temperatures in the
compartment sank as low
as 62degC below zero,
FBI special agent Tom
About an hour after the
plane landed on Sunday
morning, the boy regained
emerged onto the tarmac
at the airport in Maui,
where he was spotted by
"It's just an apparent
miracle ... ere was no
appearance of any special
gear of any sort," said
Simon.. --- Reuters
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