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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.