S. Korean ferry captain gets 36 years in prison - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

S. Korean ferry captain gets 36 years in prison

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The captain of a S Korean ferry that capsized in April has been sentenced to 36 years in prison The captain of a S Korean ferry that capsized in April has been sentenced to 36 years in prison
SEOUL, South Korea -

The captain of the South Korea ferry that sank in April, killing more than 300 people, has been given 36 years in prison.

The court said the captain was professionally negligent and abandoned his passengers during the disaster. He could have received a death sentence, although South Korea hasn't executed anyone since late 1997.

The Yonhap news agency also reports that the chief engineer has been given 30 years, and 13 other crew members were sentenced up to 20 years in prison on Tuesday.

The captain and three other key crew members had been indicted on homicide and other charges. And the 11 others faced less serious charges.

The ferry's crewmembers have faced scathing public criticism because they escaped the sinking ship while many of their passengers were still trapped inside. A total of 476 people were aboard the ship and only 172 were rescued. Most of the dead were teenage students traveling to a resort island on a school trip.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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