SEOUL, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Korean prosecutors responsible for trying ferry captain Lee Joon-seok will seek the death penalty as he stands trial for over 300 counts of murder stemming from the April accident.
Authorities say the 68-year-old captain willfully ignored his responsibility to the ship's passengers by leaving them on the doomed ship after he and is crew were successfully rescued.
Of the nearly 500 people aboard the ship, only 174 were rescued while 304 perished or are listed as missing,
Prosecutors say the high death toll was largely due to Joon-seok's ordering passengers to wait and remain on the boat while he and the ship's crew rescued themselves.
Three other crew members, including Joon-seok's first mate, are facing life in prison. Eleven additional members of the crew face 15 to 30 years behind bars for abandonment and related charges.
Korean authorities are expected to announce their rulings in November.