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Captain of sunken South Korean ferry gets 36 years in prison over April's deadly sinking

  • Relatives of the nine missing passengers of the sunken ferry Sewol cry during a news conference at a gym on South Korea's southwestern island of Jindo, where they have been staying at since the April 16 sinking of ferry Sewol, in Jindo, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. A South Korean court on Tuesday handed a 36-year prison sentence to the captain of a sunken ferry, saying he was professionally negligent and abandoned his passengers during the disaster in April that killed more than 300 people. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Park Chul-hong) KOREA OUT

    Relatives of the nine missing passengers of the sunken ferry Sewol cry during a news conference at a gym on South Korea's southwestern island of Jindo, where they have been staying at since the April 16 sinking of ferry Sewol, in Jindo, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. A South Korean court on Tuesday handed a 36-year prison sentence to the captain of a sunken ferry, saying he was professionally negligent and abandoned his passengers during the disaster in April that killed more than 300 people. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Park Chul-hong) KOREA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Relatives of the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol cry at a gym on South Korea's southwestern island of Jindo, where they have been staying at since the April 16 sinking of ferry Sewol, in Jindo, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. South Korea on Tuesday ended underwater searches for nine bodies still missing from April's ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people in one of the country's deadliest disasters in decades. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Park Chul-hong) KOREA OUT

    Relatives of the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol cry at a gym on South Korea's southwestern island of Jindo, where they have been staying at since the April 16 sinking of ferry Sewol, in Jindo, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. South Korea on Tuesday ended underwater searches for nine bodies still missing from April's ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people in one of the country's deadliest disasters in decades. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Park Chul-hong) KOREA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • A man takes pictures with his smartphone of yellow ribbons tied with messages for missing passengers and victims aboard the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast, in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. A South Korean court on Tuesday handed a 36-year prison sentence to the captain of the ferry, Lee Joon-seok, saying he was professionally negligent and abandoned his passengers during the disaster in April that killed more than 300 people. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

    A man takes pictures with his smartphone of yellow ribbons tied with messages for missing passengers and victims aboard the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast, in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. A South Korean court on Tuesday handed a 36-year prison sentence to the captain of the ferry, Lee Joon-seok, saying he was professionally negligent and abandoned his passengers during the disaster in April that killed more than 300 people. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)  (The Associated Press)

A news report says that a South Korean district court has handed a sentence of 36 years in prison to the captain of a ferry that sank in April, killing more than 300 people.

Yonhap news agency cited the Gwangju District Court on Tuesday.

The court in southern South Korea couldn't immediately confirm the report.

The sentences of three other key crew members weren't immediate clear.

The four crew members were indicted on homicide and other charges. Prosecutors say their negligence and abandonment of passengers caused the deaths.

Most of the dead were teenage students traveling to a southern island for a school trip.

The captain has apologized for abandoning the passengers but has said he didn't know his actions would lead to so many deaths.