Ferry survivors return to school amid tears, grief

2014-06-25 14:27
(Yonhap, AP)

(Yonhap, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • South Korea
    Accessible yet packed with information, South Korea will appeal to geography students and casual... Now R567.00
    buy now

Ansan - As parents of the dead wept, more than 70 teenagers who survived a ferry sinking that killed hundreds of their schoolmates walked in a sombre procession on Wednesday to their first classes since the April disaster.

Some of the 73 students, wearing white and black uniforms and carrying book bags, bowed their heads as they cried and walked slowly from a bus to the school entrance. Some stopped to hug the parents of their friends, who caressed their hair and faces.

Adults carried banners of encouragement. One read: "I love you." A large placard, which reads "We pray the dead will rest in peace," was hung up on the school entrance gate.

The anger, grief and deep remorse at Danwon High School in Ansan, outside of Seoul, was a reflection of what many South Koreans have felt since the 16 April sinking that left more than 300 people dead or missing.

Of the 325 students on a class trip to the southern holiday island of Jeju, 75 were rescued, 245 died and 5 are still missing. Two of those rescued had already returned to school, officials said.

The return to classes of the survivors, who had been staying at a facility in Ansan where they had classes and therapy sessions, comes amid court hearings for the ferry crew and the officials from the company that owned it. Many South Koreans also fault the government, the coast guard and even society for failing the victims.

"We ask for a thorough investigation to find out why our friends and teachers had to become victims and why the rescue efforts didn't proceed properly and led to more victims," one of the surviving students, Shin Young-jin, said in an emotional address. "We hope that you will try to create a safer nation so that such a horrible accident never happens again."

'Burying daggers in our hearts'

After decades of negligence, many South Koreans are now questioning the country's history of ignoring safety issues as it pursued rapid economic development above all else following the devastation of the Korean War, which began 64 years ago on Wednesday with a North Korean invasion.

The government of President Park Geun-hye, whose dictator father ruled during the economic boom in the 1960s and 1970s that was dubbed the "Miracle on the Han," after the river that cuts through Seoul, has been battered by criticism that it should have done more before the sinking on safety and monitoring issues and that its incompetence botched the rescue operations.

The 15 crew members responsible for navigating the Sewol ferry face charges of negligence for failing to perform their duties to rescue passengers. Prosecutors say they abandoned the ship even though they knew passengers would be trapped and killed when the ferry sank. The defence has denied any collusion, saying the crew members were confused, injured and panicked.

Shin, the student, said that many people have tried to console the surviving students, but others have asked "unpleasant" questions that have reminded them of the sinking and made them feel guilty. He said some people were even "burying daggers in our hearts" by saying that the survivors "betrayed" their classmates by coming back alive. "Whenever we heard such things, our hearts tore apart and ached and we shed tears because we felt guilty and sorry for our friends."

"Just as we cannot forget them, we ask that the citizens of this country also never forget them," Shin said of the dead, stopping at one point as tears choked his words. "For the adults who lead us, we ask that you exhaustively search for those responsible for this crime."

- AP
Read more on:    park geun-hye  |  south korea  |  ferry disaster
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Air France grounds flights

2014-08-01 22:52
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Kuils River 17:58 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Montague Gardens 12:06 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - DELAYS towards Bosmansdam Road

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Jan 21 - Feb 18
Jan 21 - Feb 18

You may be inspired to do things that expand your mind in a big way today. You have a need to explore and a need to please....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.