Children hold candles during a rally to pay tribute to victims and missing passengers of the sunken ferry Sewol in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 10, 2014.
South Korean prosecutors have indicted the captain of the sunken South Korean ferry and three other crew members on homicide charges Thursday, the Associated Pressreports.
11 other crew members have been indicted on lesser charges.
"The captain, a first officer and second officer and the chief engineer escaped before the passengers, leading to grave casualties," leading investigator and prosecutor Ahn Sang-don said at a news briefing.
The other 11 crew members are charged with alleged negligence, and abandoning passengers in need. The trial date will be set in a few days.
The four crew members indicted for homicide, including Capt. Lee Joon-seok, could be facing the death penalty. The last time someone was executed in South Korea was in 1997.
Counting passengers and crew, 476 people were on board the ferry that sunk on April 16, most of them children. 172 people were rescued, while the rest are presumed to have drowned. A civilian diver died on May 6 during the search for the ferry victims.