Channel NewsAsia

S Korea continues to grieve over Sewol ferry disaster

Friday marks one month since a South Korean ferry carrying 476 passengers - mostly high school students - capsized and sank. Since then, the country has been in a state of grief amid prolonged frustration and anger at the government over its handling of rescue operations.

SEOUL: Friday marks one month since a South Korean ferry carrying 476 passengers - mostly high school students - capsized and sank.

Since then, the country has been in a state of grief amid prolonged frustration and anger at the government over its handling of rescue operations.

President Park Geun-hye has apologised twice while the prime minister has also offered to resign.

But the scars of the Sewol ferry disaster look unlikely to heal anytime soon.

More than 1,000 family members camped out at a gymnasium in Jindo, waiting for news of their loved ones.

There are only a handful of them left and they have only one hope.

At the memorial altar in Ansan city - more portraits of victims arrive - as the number of bodies retrieved continues to rise.

People from across South Korea have gone to Ansan to offer their condolences, and nearly two million people have visited altars set up in different cities across the country.

More than 300 students and teachers from Danwon High School were on the ship.

The school has reopened after being shut for one week following the disaster, but classes for the second-year students have not resumed.

All the students on the ferry were second-year students, and only 75 out of a total of 325 students survived.

Rescue operations continued at Jindo as crew battled darkness and strong currents to find more bodies.

Dangerous conditions have hampered those efforts and two divers have died in the process.

Fingers are still being pointed at those responsible for the sinking.

The ship’s captain and three other crew members have been charged with manslaughter for fleeing and making no attempt to rescue others onboard.

Many of the victims' families have not yet been able to face the reality that their loved ones are gone forever.

A father of a victim said: ''There are still lots of children who have not yet been retrieved from the deep sea. We cannot declare our children dead until all the children are returned to the arms of their parents.''

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna