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South Korea ferry vice-principal: Rescued principal from ferry hangs himself

abcnews.go.com
abcnews.go.com
A vice-principal who accompanied hundreds of students on the tragic ferry trip was rescued, but police reported Friday he was found hanged near where relatives of the missing are gathered.

The South Korea ferry vice-principal, rescued from the tragic ferry sinking Wednesday that has left 28 dead thus far and hundreds missing, evidently took his own life. The school official accompanied close to 500 students on the disastrous field trip, and as hope fades that any of the 268 passengers – mostly children – will be found alive, the principal has taken his own life.

According to report from Reuters today, as carried on MSN News, 52-year-old Kang Min-gyu, who had been missing since Thursday, “appeared to have hanged himself with his belt from a tree outside a gym in the port city of Jindo where relatives of the people missing on the ship, mostly children from the school, were gathered.”

Min-gyu did not leave a note. He had been reported as missing by a fellow teacher. Divers continue to fight tides and strong weather to get to the sunken ship, but the likelihood of anyone being found alive is negligible. The Coast Guard began pumping air into the ship today in case any survivors are trapped inside.

“When I first received the call telling me the news, at that time I still had hope,” said Cho Kyung-mi, who was waiting for news of her missing 16-year-old nephew at the school. “And now it's all gone.”

As reported by the NY Post, the Sewol ferry left the northwestern port of Incheon on Tuesday. The overnight journey was taking 475 travelers, including 325 second-year students from Danwon High School, to the island of Jeju.

At approximately 9:00 a.m., a distress call was sent out. A few hours later, the ferry had capsized, with only its large blue and white keel visible in the water. By Friday, the boat was completely submerged, and rescuers used giant buoys to mark the area where the ferry sank. Navy divers also attached underwater lifting bags to prevent the ferry from falling to the floor of the sea.

“I want to jump into the water with them,” said Park Geum-san, 59, the great-aunt of another missing student said. “My loved one is under the water and it’s raining. Anger is not enough.”

Says the Inquisitr:

South Korean officials are now looking into the crew, particularly the third mate, who is 26-years old and with very limited steering experience aboard the Sewol. According to officials, the accident happened at a point where the ferry had to make a sharp turn that caused the ferry to capsize. Officials believe that the third mate may have ordered the turn.