South Korea Ferry Disaster: Death Toll Reaches 100, Fears Many Among Dead are Youngsters (PHOTOS)

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  • A man writes a message wishing for the safe return of missing passengers of the South Korean ferry Sewol, which capsized in the sea off Jindo last week, at a port in Jindo April 21, 2014. South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the actions of
    A man writes a message wishing for the safe return of missing passengers of the South Korean ferry Sewol, which capsized in the sea off Jindo last week, at a port in Jindo April 21, 2014. South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the actions of the captain and crew of a ferry that sank last week with hundreds feared dead were tantamount to murder, as authorities arrested four more officers of the vessel. REUTERS/Issei Kato REUTERS/Issei Kato
  • A Buddhist monk prays near family members of a missing passenger onboard South Korean ferry Sewol, which capsized on Wednesday, as they look at the sea at a port in Jindo April 22, 2014. South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the actions of s
    A Buddhist monk prays near family members of a missing passenger onboard South Korean ferry Sewol, which capsized on Wednesday, as they look at the sea at a port in Jindo April 22, 2014. South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the actions of some crew of the ferry that sank with hundreds feared dead were tantamount to murder, as a four-year-old video transcript showed the captain promoting the safety of the same route. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
  • Food and drinks for family members of missing passengers on board the capsized South Korean ferry Sewol, are stocked in a makeshift accommodation at a gymnasium where family members wait for news from rescue and salvage teams, in the port city of Jindo Ap
    Food and drinks for family members of missing passengers on board the capsized South Korean ferry Sewol, are stocked in a makeshift accommodation at a gymnasium where family members wait for news from rescue and salvage teams, in the port city of Jindo April 22, 2014. South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the actions of some crew of a ferry that sank with hundreds feared dead were tantamount to murder, as a four-year-old video transcript showed the captain promoting the safety of the same route. REUTERS/Issei Kato REUTERS/Issei Kato
  • An altar with prayer offerings for missing passengers onboard South Korean ferry Sewol, which capsized on Wednesday, is seen next to the sea at a port where family members of missing passengers are waiting for news from rescue and salvage teams in Jindo A
    An altar with prayer offerings for missing passengers onboard South Korean ferry Sewol, which capsized on Wednesday, is seen next to the sea at a port where family members of missing passengers are waiting for news from rescue and salvage teams in Jindo April 22, 2014. South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the actions of some crew of a ferry that sank with hundreds feared dead were tantamount to murder, as a four-year-old video transcript showed the captain promoting the safety of the same route. The altar was arranged by a Buddhist monk. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
  • Family members look at a noticeboard with descriptions of bodies recovered from the capsized passenger ship Sewol at the port in Jindo April 22, 2014. The crew of the South Korean ferry that sank with hundreds of people on board repeatedly asked officers
    Family members look at a noticeboard with descriptions of bodies recovered from the capsized passenger ship Sewol at the port in Jindo April 22, 2014. The crew of the South Korean ferry that sank with hundreds of people on board repeatedly asked officers on the bridge whether or not to give the order to abandon ship, but there was no response, a crew member has said. The Sewol ferry sank last Wednesday on a routine trip south from the port of Incheon to the sub-tropical holiday island of Jeju. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
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The death toll from the ferry sinking disaster in South Korea has reached 100. Another 198 remain missing. People feared that many among the dead would be youngsters.

Many of the missing are presumed trapped in the vessel which sank on April 16.

Reports have surfaced that the first call of distress the sinking ferry made was made by a boy, not from the ship's captain. The call was directed to a fire station.

"Save us! We're on a ship and I think it's sinking," Yonhap news agency quoted the boy who made the call, with the family name of Choi. The call was received 8.52 in the morning when the boat capsized.

An unidentified fire officer told MBC TV that the boy's voice was shaking and sounded urgent. Reuters reported that single call was then forwarded to the coastguard two minutes later. It was followed by 20 calls made by children to the fire brigade.

Police have detained seven crew members, including ship captain Lee Joon-seok, as families of the ill-fated passengers called for justice over their failure to have all passengers evacuated as the ship listed.

Crew members of the South Korean passenger ferry Sewol said they repeatedly asked officers on the bridge if they should already give the order to abandon ship. The bridge did not respond, a crew member said.

Lee, arrested on negligence charges, was also charged with undertaking an "excessive change of course without slowing down."

Witnesses saw Lee and several other crew members leaving the ferry as it started sinking, while many of the passengers remain encased inside the vessel. President Park Geun-hye blasted their deeds as tantamount to an "act of murder."

Read: South Korea Ferry Sinking: Miscalculation Turns Supposed Successful Rescue Operation into Disaster, 6 Dead, Hundreds Still Missing, Mostly Students, Texts of Farewell (PHOTOS)

Quoting transcripts of the conversation between the crew and sea traffic control, the Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Centre, public broadcaster KBS reported that the passengers were repeatedly told to stay put.

"Stay where you are. Don't move. If you move, it will be more dangerous."

The crew on the third deck, for 30 minutes straight, kept asking the bridge if they should already issue the order to abandon ship, KBS said.

"At the time, we could not confirm what the situation was on the bridge," KBS quoted a crew member. "We kept trying to find out but ... since there was no instruction coming from the bridge, the crew on the third floor followed the instructions on the manual and kept making 'stay where you are' announcements. At least three times."

At the time the ferry began listing, it was being steered by a third mate. It was found however that this officer had never navigated the area where the accident occurred.

Read: BREAKING NEWS: 50 Ships, Helicopters Race Against Time to Rescue 470 Onboard Sinking South Korean Ferry (PHOTOS)

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