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FERRY

Korean ferry tycoon’s daughter held in Paris

The daughter of a fugitive Korean tycoon accused of being responsible for last month's ferry disaster has been arrested in France and will appear before a judge Wednesday, judicial sources told AFP.

Korean ferry tycoon's daughter held in Paris
This photo taken at sea some 20 kilometres off the island of Byungpoong in Jindo on April 16, 2014 shows coast guard members searching for passengers near the capsized South Korean ferry. Photo: Dong

Yoo Som-Na, 47, was arrested Tuesday at her Paris residence under an international arrest warrant issued in connection with the investigation into a disaster that claimed around 300 lives, most of them schoolchildren.

A judge will decide later on Wednesday whether she should be detained in custody pending a decision on whether to extradite her to South Korea, which could take several months or longer if she contests it.

Yoo Som-Na is the daughter of Yoo Byung-Eun, the head of the family which controls Chonghaejin Marine Co., the company which owned and operated the Sewol ferry that capsized and sunk on April 16 with hundreds of high-school students on board.

Yoo and his eldest son Yoo Dae-Kyun are being hunted by Korean authorities who suspect breaches of legal safety standards may have led to a tragedy that moved the whole world.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Tuesday denounced fugitive members of the family as the "root cause" of the disaster. The government has offered a half-million dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of the father and 100,000 dollars for Yoo Dae-Kyun.

Korean prosecutors want to question the two men, Yoo Som-Na and another son who lives in the United States in connection with possible charges of embezzlement, tax fraud and criminal negligence.

Yoo has no direct stake in Chonghaejin, but his children and close aides control it through a complex web of holding companies.

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FERRY

Ferry runs aground at France’s Calais port

A ferry with more than 300 people on board ran aground Sunday in high winds at Calais in northern France, interrupting traffic in one of Europe's busiest passenger ports but causing no injuries.

Ferry runs aground at France's Calais port
Photo: AFP

“The vessel is stable. Port officers are looking at how to refloat it,” an official in the local administration told AFP, without giving his name.

A spokeswoman for the P&O shipping company said the ferry, The Pride of Kent, ran aground after it hit a gangway while making to leave for Dover, its destination in Britain.

There were 316 people on board — 208 of them passengers, government officials said.

Two tug boats were trying to pull the ferry free but the task was proving difficult, said an AFP correspondent at the scene.

More than nine million passengers used Calais to cross the channel in 2016, according to official numbers.

READ ALSO: Channel ferry services hit as fierce winds lash France's northern coast