One Year Later

It’s been one year since the Sewol, a South Korean ferry, went down killing 304 people — most of whom were high school students.  People here are still sad and angry:

“There is widespread frustration among many South Koreans who see their government as having failed to improve safety standards and hold high-level officials accountable for a disaster blamed in part on incompetence and corruption.

While largely blamed on the ship’s illegal redesign and overloading, the accident laid bare deeper-rooted problems of corruption, lax safety standards and regulatory failings attributed to the country’s relentless push for economic growth.

‘Nothing has changed,’ the JoongAng Daily newspaper said in an editorial Thursday, adding that the government’s promised reforms had fallen ‘way short of changing its often wicked ways.’ An editorial in the largest circulation Chosun Ilbo also concluded that ‘the country remains unsafe.’ South Korean lawmakers on Thursday adopted a resolution urging the government to salvage the ferry.”

I’ll never forget the punch-to-the-gut at hearing so many people, and especially so many young people, had died.  I’ll also never forget just how incompetent the rescue efforts were, kick-started by a school district official who texted all the parents involved that their children had already been rescued and everyone was fine and dandy.

There’s no place in hell hot enough for that kind of stupidity.

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