Over 100 Survivors of Sewol Ferry Sinking Accept Government Compensation

D-Bo , July 10, 2015, 11:25 a.m.

Survivors of the ferry disaster last year and families of the dead have filed more than 100 applications for compensation from the government. The development comes after one group of victims' families refused to accept payouts offered by the government and instead filed a lawsuit against the state.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that the families of 86 out 250 people killed or missing in the disaster have filed for state compensation, as have 16 of the survivors. A ministry official said only 28 applications had been submitted until May, but then the government decided on a further W50 million consolation payment in mid-June, and applications surged (US$1=W1,137).  

"We expect the number of applications to continue to rise until the Sept. 28 deadline," the official added. The families of victims who were students at Danwon High School in Gyeonggi Province will each receive W820 million, including W420 million in government compensation, W300 million from donations and consolation payments and W100 million in insurance payouts. 

The families of each teacher from the high school who died in the  disaster will get an average of W1.14 billion. Families of other passengers will receive between W450 million and W900 million. Under a special law enacted to deal with the compensation, families who accept the payment waive their right to sue. Some families are suing the government, arguing that the special law infringes on their rights.

The 75 surviving students from Danwon High School have yet to apply for government compensation, but many of them are getting ready to get the medical paperwork from a designated hospital, suggesting that they will also apply soon. 

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