Thousands mark second anniversary of S. Korean ferry catastrophe

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 11:09 AM

About 2.500 people, including grieving family members and victims, gathered for an event marking the second anniversary of the sinking at a memorial altar in Ansan, where most of the victims lived, according to the city'south police.

Thousands mark second anniversary of S. Korean ferry catastrophe

Thousands of S Koreans on Saturday participated in memorial events nationwide for the more than three hundred people who died in a ferry catastrophe two years ago that deeply rattled the country.

About 2.500 people, including grieving family members and victims, gathered for an event marking the second anniversary of the sinking at a memorial altar in Ansan, where most of the victims lived, according to the city's police.

Nearly 5.000 others are expected in the evening at a square in the capital Seoul, where relatives of the victims had camped for months in protest. Police are bracing for the opportunity that the gathering may turn into an anti-government march, said an official from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, who didn't wish to be named, citing office rules.

A total of three hundred four people, most of them students from a single high school in Ansan, died when the ferry Sewol sank off S Korea'south southwest coast in April two thousand fourteen in a catastrophe partially accused on official incompetence and corruption.

Divers recovered two hundred ninety-five bodies from the ship'south wreckage and nearby seas before the government stopped underwater searches after seven months. Nine victims remain missing.

The tragedy touched off an outpouring of national grief and soul-searching about public safety. The relatives of the victims, mad that higher-level executive haven't been held accountable, have been calling for a stronger investigation into the government'south responsibility for the disaster.

"We really wish to move on," said Jeon Myung-sun, the father of one of the learner victims, during a speech in Ansan. "We would be able to go back to our ordinary lives if the people who are responsible are held responsible, and after finding out why (the accident) happened and why our children had to die."

S Korea'south top Ct in Nov latest year upheld a life sentence for the ferry'south captain. The Ct concluded that he committed homicide by "willful negligence" because he fled his ship without giving an evacuation order.

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