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Reports: South Korean ferry was carrying three times more cargo than normal

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Reports from South Korean newspaper Korea Joongang Daily released this morning show that the South Korean ferry that capsized and killed at least 226 people was dangerously overloaded.

The ship's first mate told the paper that the vessel was carrying three times more cargo than normal. The Sewol had a maximum capacity of 987 tons, but it was allegedly hauling 3,608 tons of weight.

A prosecutor on the investigation team told the outlet that the practice of overloading such ships is "not uncommon" in South Korea. The ship's captain and 14 other crew members who abandoned the ship are currently being detained by prosecutors.