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Mourners say goodbyes to victims of Sewol-ho ferry accident at group memorial altar

Updated: 2014-04-26 18:30:54 (KST)
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Almost one-hundred-thousand people have visited a temporary group memorial altar set up in Ansan, the city most touched by the accident, as more than 300 students from a high school there were on board the ill-fated ferry.
We go over to our Kwon Soa, who is at Ansan Olympic Memorial Hall.
Soa, it's the weekend so I'm sure many more people have paid their respects today

Yes, Mark I have been here since the morning and the city was and is still full of Ansan citizens as well as people from across the country, mainly dressed in black who have been coming into Olympic Memorial Hall all day to say their goodbyes to the victims of the Sewol-ho ferry accident.
Even at this late hour, hundreds of people are standing in several lines that stretch out into the streets near the hall, to pay their respects to the now 118 students and teachers of Danwon High School whose pictures are displayed here in front of which the mourners lay down white flowers.
Well over 100-thousand people have visited the memorial so far, since it opened last Wednesday, and some say they have come more than once.
And around 70-thousand text messages of condolences have been sent, which are being displayed on one of the screens here.
On a message board also inside the hall, one of the words most used is "sorry." "Sorry for not being able to save you sorry we as adults made a mistake."
The atmospheres are very different depending on where you are.
In front of the hall, everyone waits in silence.
Once they come out after paying their condolences, most of them have tears in their eyes


"I hope the victims rest in peace, and I hope the families will find solace and that the missing are found."

"My eyes were full of tears and it hurt so much that I couldn't just stay at home. That's why I came here."

Yes, our thoughts are with the families, friends and classmates of the victims. If anyone watching wants to go and pay tribute at the altar, how late will it stay open?

The temporary group memorial altar here at the Ansan Olympic Memorial Hall will be open to the public until Monday for 24 hours a day
except for a few times throughout the day when it closes for maintenance purposes.
With the rising number of mourners, shuttle bus schedules in the area have been extended by two hours, and are now running from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The nearest subway station is Gojan station and there are buses that run from there.
Many taxi drivers in the area are taking customers on free rides to the hall as well.


"When the students take taxis in the morning to go to school in groups of three or four, I think it could be the students that are affected. I also have colleagues whose children were among the identified students."

By Tuesday, an official memorial altar is expected to be ready at Hwarang Park, also in the city of Ansan which is around 10 minutes away by car from the Olympic Hall here, and five minutes from Korea University Ansan Hospital.
This has been Kwon Soa, reporting live from the Ansan Olympic Memorial Hall.


Reporter : amho88@naver.com

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