As compensation claims for the Sewol ferry disaster closed on 30 September, 75% of victims’ families and survivors had made filings.
Sewol, carrying 476 passengers and crew on a routine Incheon-Jeju trip, capsized on 16 April 2014, leaving 304 dead or missing. Many of the dead were students and teachers from Danwon High School.
Among the 172 survivors, a vice-principal of Danwon High School committed suicide and 14 crew members were jailed for abandoning the passengers to their fate.
South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that families of 208 of the 304 dead or missing people and 140 of 157 eligible survivors had filed claims.
Analysing the rate of claims, MOF said applications from bereaved families picked up speed from 12 June onwards, after the first batch of compensation was awarded. More such applications were received in the month leading up to the deadline for claims.
To encourage bereaved families and survivors to file claims, the ministry held one-on-one consultations in Ansan, where most of the passengers came from. Consultations were held up to the day before the deadline, 29 September, even though this was the last day of the Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving holiday.
There have been 325 claims for cargo damage, 62 claims for pollution, and 562 from fishermen whose business was affected by rescue operations.
To date, KRW61.8 billion (USD57.4 million) in compensation for 793 applications has been awarded.