The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank in April, killing 304 people, was sentenced in South Korean district court today to 36 years in prison, with the ferry’s chief engineer receiving a 30-year sentence, ABC reports.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for 68-year-old captain Lee Joon-Seok and three other main crew members for neglecting responsibility to rescue passengers, many of whom were high school students on a field trip. The 15 crew staffers were the first ones to escape when the Sewol ferry started to sink.
The Gwangju District Court in southern South Korea acquitted Lee on murder charges but said he was professionally negligent and abandoned passengers. The court also sentenced the chief engineer for homicide after he neglected two injured staff members during the escape.