TIME

South Korean Ferry Disaster Mirrors Earlier Japanese Boat Capsizing

The South Korean disaster was strangely similar to a 2009 Japanese boat's sinking

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In 2009, the Ariake, a Japanese ferry on its way to Okinawa through rough currents, capsized and slowly sank.

Five years later, the Korean ferry Sewol capsized and sank in rough currents as well, only this time the ship trapped hundreds of high school students on its way down.

The incidents are not merely similar, they’re nearly identical: The two ships were made by the same builder, run by the same operator and capsized at roughly the same time into their journey. Since the Ariake’s accident, Japan has taken steps to make ships safer, precautions that might have prevented the Sewol tragedy.

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