Prosecutors in South Korea have asked for the death sentence for the captain of the ferry that sunk killing more than 300 people, news agency Yonhap reported Monday.

Lee Joon-seok, 69, is charged with more than 300 counts of murder and accused of abandoning passengers when the Sewol sank in April. He was the first to be rescued as the ship sank off South Korea's southern coast.

The agency said prosecutors asked the district court in the southern city of Gwangju to sentence three crew members to life in prison on the same charges.

Prison terms ranging from 15 years to 30 years were demanded against 11 other crew members, who have been charged with abandonment and violation of the ship safety act.

More than 300 people died in the disaster, with 174 rescued and 10 still missing. Most of the passengers were high school students and their teachers on a school trip.

Anadolu Agency