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Court rules South Korea must pay for Sewol victims

July 19, 2018 4:12 pm

A South Korean court has ruled the government has to pay compensation for the victims of the Sewol ferry disaster.

It is the first time a court has acknowledged the state is liable for the deaths.

The Sewol sank in 2014 killing 304 people, most of them school children.

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Some relatives of the victims had turned down an earlier offer of compensation, insisting the state’s responsibility had to be proven.

“The court acknowledges the liability in compensating the plaintiffs, since the negligence by the state and Cheonghaejin Marine Co. has resulted in the occurrence of the accident,” the court said on Thursday, Yonhap news agency reported.

The court awarded 200m won ($177,000, £135,000) in compensation for each passenger who died. Parents of the students who lost their lives in the tragedy will receive a further 40 million won.

Siblings and grandparents are to get smaller sums in compensation.

Sewol ferry texts: ’Don’t die, stay alive’

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