The empty class room of the second grade students who are on the sinking vessel for heading to field trip in Danwon High School in Ansan, South Korea, Thursday, April 17, 2014.
In Ansan, a city south of Seoul, where the students’ high school is, classmates, relatives and other mourners, some weeping and wailing, laid long-stemmed white chrysanthemums, traditional flowers for funerals in Korea, before an altar in a gymnasium. On the altar was a row of photographs of students, many smiling, who had been found dead after the 6,825-ton ferry sank on April 16, 2014 during a trip from the port city of Incheon to the southern resort island of Jeju.
Nearly three quarters of Danwon’s 11th graders died in the sinking of a ferry that ranks as one of the country’s deadliest disasters in recent decades. The city of 763,000 people, those who live here say, has been suffocating in grief since the accident apparently claimed the lives of 250 of its children.