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South Korean ferry sinks, over 150 people presumed dead

Recently a ferry in southern South Korea capsized, allegedly killing more than 150 people.
Recently a ferry in southern South Korea capsized, allegedly killing more than 150 people.

Every day, people travel on trains, boats airplanes, buses and cars to get to their destinations. Some trips are for leisure and others, a typical part of their routine. For students at Danwon High School in South Korea, a trip on a ferry to a resort island went terribly wrong and a lack of notice to evacuate allegedly killed more than 150 people, according to reports from the New York Times.

It has been more than a week since the ferry sunk off the southern coast of South Korea and hope to find survivors ended when divers told reporters that there were no air pockets near the ship — as of April 23, the boat has sunk about 160 feet deep, NPR explained.

On the day of the incident, there were 476 passengers who were on board, but many of the teenage passengers remained in their cabins despite visibly noticing that the ferry was beginning to list and capsize. Crew members waited about 30 minutes to implement their business continuity plan, even though many of the students were waiting for orders in lower decks.

South Korean adults told the Times that the forthcoming death toll is likely due to the fact that children are told to obey orders from elders. A lot of these customs stem from hierarchical and Confucian teachings.

"The saddest thing about this disaster is that the young students did as the adults told them to, but the adults abandoned them in a crisis and the system didn't save them," M. J. Hwang, sociology professor at Korea University, said.

Although many members of the ferry's crew did survive the accident, they were soon met with arrest warrants, among those who await trial is Lee Jun-seok, who was the captain of the ferry.

Companies should always be prepared for any situation, even dangerous ones that don't happen on a regular basis. Advance preparation can help stakeholders and constituents know their role, which can significantly reduce confusion. Business continuity consultants can help organizations develop plans to streamline communication and expedite evacuation.