The pictures, flowers and spaces are banked up the entire wall of
a gymnasium near Danwon High School in Ansan, on the outskirts of
"There are too many pictures, way more than I thought," said crying
university student Jung Sun-a, 24. "And they are too young in these
pictures. I really hope they can fulfill their dream in the next
life. And I hope the missing kids will also come back to their
parents as soon as possible."
One wailing old woman shouted out for her granddaughter, Lee Bomi.
"Bomi is still in darkness. She hasn't come home yet. What are we
going to do? I came here to ask you. She is still in dark waters.
What am I supposed to do?"
The Sewol ferry, weighing almost 7,000 tons, sank on a routine trip
from the port of Incheon, near Seoul, to the southern holiday island
of Jeju. Investigations are focused on human error and mechanical
More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers from Danwon
High School have died or are missing and presumed dead after the
April 16 disaster.
The confirmed death toll on Friday was 185.
School classes resumed on Thursday in somber mood. In the classrooms
of the missing, friends posted messages on desks, blackboards and
windows, in the days after disaster struck, asking for the safe
return of their friends.
One note was stuck to the window of an empty classroom in the days
when hopes for finding the passengers alive were fading fast. It was
addressed to a girl called Si-yeon.
"Si-yeon, It's me, your oppa (male friend). I miss you a lot. I am
so worried. Please come out of that ferry. We ought to go and eat
your favorite things, sweet potatoes, cheese and tangerines," it
"It must be really cold in there. I am so sorry that I cannot do
anything for you. It makes me feel so frustrated — there is nothing
else I can do but pray for you. I don't even want to imagine how
scared you must be. I hope you are alive. I won't give up, I will
wait for you. I want to tell you that I love you."
Visiting U.S. President Barack Obama gave President Park Geun-hye an
American flag that flew over the White House on April 16, the day of
"I just want to express on behalf of the American people our deepest
sympathy for the tragic loss," Obama told her. "We join in mourning
the loss of the missing, especially so many young people."
CHILDREN'S MISTRUST OF ADULTS
A professor who led a psychological counseling at the school said
the children now distrusted adults who fought amongst themselves,
did little to rescue the passengers and told them to stay put.
[to top of second column]
"That is an obstacle in our treatment," he told local radio.
"Without dealing with the mistrust, it is hard to approach them to
help cure them. Yet such distrust cannot be dealt with words only.
Once betrayed, how do you expect them to believe us again?"
Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and other crew members who abandoned ship
after telling the children to stay put in their cabins have been
arrested on negligence charges. Lee was also charged with
undertaking an "excessive change of course without slowing down".
One crew member said after a brief appearance in court on Thursday
she and six colleagues had been "under command" to abandon ship.
Another was asked if there was any discussion about trying to save
"At that moment, we were on the third floor and except for the third
floor situation, we weren't aware of anything else," the crew member
Prosecutors have raided the home of Yoo Byung-un, the head of a
family that owns the Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd, the company that
operated the Sewol. They seized another ferry run by the company and
found that life rafts and escape chutes were not working properly.
"I'm not saying it automatically means Sewol's safety equipment was
faulty, but it helps to deduce the state of maintenance," one
investigator told Reuters.
Prosecutors said on Friday they had told Yoo's younger son, who is
staying in New York, and daughter to return by Tuesday for
Along with his elder brother, Yoo Hyuk-kee, Yoo is the biggest
shareholder of a holding company that owns Chonghaejin Marine and
its other affiliates.
Prosecutors said they had found some data have been deleted from
computers they confiscated in the raids and some computers had been
(Additional reporting by Jack Kim in Mokpo and Kim Miyoung, Cho
Meeyoung and Matt Spetalnick in Seoul; writing by Nick Macfie;
editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.