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With a heavy heart: South Korean school reopens after ferry tragedy

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 16:46

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Seoul: It was an overwhelmingly sad day at Danwon high school in South Korea, which reopened on Thursday, eight days after a ferry carrying more than 300 of its students and teachers capsized off Jindo Island.

The agony of sitting in a classroom with many missing faces, knowing that they will never ever turn up, can only be imagined by those classmates who attended the classes today.

Visuals of classrooms showed bundles of chrysanthemums placed at the seats of those who had lost their lives to the tragedy.

As the classes began for final year students, the air in the school campus was heavy with sadness and students walking to the classrooms wore a gloomy look, according to the Yonhap agency.

It was a heart-rending sight in the classroom as the grief-stricken teachers silently embraced the students who had tuned up for the classes.

Out of the 476 people aboard the ferry Sewol, 325 were Danwon students. The official death toll was 171 according to Yonhap news agency.

But according to a Reuters report, more than 250 of the school`s students and teachers were either confirmed or feared to have been dead.

With the ferry tragedy expected to effect the school, it was closed for a week.

The school has almost turned into a memorial site with flowers and well-wishers` messages flooding the gates and funeral rites being held inside classrooms, reports the BBC.

In one of the heart-melting messages posted in one of the classrooms as cited by the BBC read, "If I see you again, I`ll tell you I love you, because I haven`t said it to you enough."

To deal with the trauma of loss, psychological treatment programs were held for students.

The students are said to have reacted quiet wisely as one of the teachers was quoted as saying by Yonhap news, "I was moved by the warm and mature attitude of the students who asked their teachers if they were okay". 

First Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 16:46
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