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South Koreans mourn on anniversary of ferry disaster

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-16 10:09

South Koreans mourn on anniversary of ferry disaster

A mourner looks at pictures of victims from the sunken ferry Sewol at the official memorial altar for the victims in Ansan on the occasion of the first anniversary of the ferry disaster that killed more than 300 passengers, April 16, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL - South Korea on Thursday marked the first anniversary of the Sewol ferry disaster, with nationwide memorial services being held by private organizations, schools and local governments.

On April 16, 2014, the 6,825-ton ferry Sewol capsized and sank off Jindo Island in the country's southwest, leaving 295 dead and nine still missing. Among 476 passengers aboard the ill-fated vessel were 325 students of Danwon High School on a school trip to Jeju Island. Among them, only 75 students survived.

About 300 private organizations and local governments held, or will hold, memorial ceremonies during the day to mourn for the deceased students and other victims.

Traveling on the road were about 2,800 taxis and buses, to which yellow ribbons were attached in memory of the victims. Many students went to school in uniform with a small badge of yellow ribbon in chest.

In the morning, more than 2,000 South Koreans visited the group memorial altar in Ansan City, Geyonggi Province, where the Danwon High School students came from. The number is expected to increase later in the day.

President Park Geun-hye visited Pengmok Harbor of Jindo Island, before leaving for Latin American countries for a state-visit. It was her second visit to the harbor, close to where the ferry is being sunken, since she came there on May 4, 2014.

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