ANSAN: Student survivors of South Korea’s ferry disaster testified at the murder trial of the captain and crew yesterday how they were left to fend for themselves in the sinking vessel.
One recalled orders for her and her classmates to stay put being relayed “over and over,” until the ferry had listed so far that the door to their cabin was above their heads.
The actual trial is taking place in the southern city of Gwangju, but the judges and lawyers decamped to a court in Ansan city, south of Seoul, for a special two-day session with the 17 students who agreed to testify.
Police cordons blocked public access to the district court as the students arrived in a red mini-bus and were escorted into the building by a tight phalanx of police officers.
Although they were offered the option of testifying by video from a nearby room, five of the six female students involved in yesterday’s morning session chose to give their testimony in the courtroom.
The student who took the video option described how passengers suddenly slid to one side as the ferry listed heavily.