+ A

Korean intern dies mysteriously on ship in Qatar

Aug 14,2017
The body of a college student who died while interning on a ship to Qatar arrived at Incheon International Airport Monday.

Marine police are investigating the cause of death, which was not known as of press time Monday.

The student, a 23-year-old surnamed Jang, was a student at Mokpo National Marine University in Mokpo, South Jeolla. He had taken an internship from mid-July with a Korean shipping company, which was to pay him $300 a month for working on a ship 8 hours a day for a total of six months.

He and a 45-year-old Burmese sailor were found unconscious on the floor of the ship at around 10:40 a.m. on Aug. 7, when the ship was moored in Mesaieed port, Qatar. The ship was transporting chemicals.

The two were taken to a nearby hospital but both died. Doctors said the two died of acute respiratory distress, a lung condition in which fluid fills the lungs. Causes include inhalation of toxic materials, blood or lung infections or acute injury to the chest or head.

The National Forensic Service plans to perform an autopsy on Jang’s body to determine the cause of death. Marine police will be questioning the captain and investigating whether Jang was overworked and what his duties were.

The Mokpo National Marine University requires its students to take an internship of at least one year before graduating. Some 290 of its students are currently interning.

Jang took the national college entrance exam three years in a row to gain admittance to Mokpo National Marine University.

He was a good son, his relatives said. He gave all his savings to his parents right before he left for the internship.

“I am well so don’t worry about me,” Jang texted his father from the ship.

“The weather is getting hotter so stay healthy,” was the last text message he sent to his father on Aug. 5.

BY KIM HO [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]