S/Korea ferry dis­as­ter: Fam­i­lies an­gry over res­cue

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

Fam­i­lies of pas­sen­gers on a sunken South Korean ferry have protested an­grily over the res­cue oper­a­tion.

Po­lice stopped up to 100 people try­ing to leave Jindo is­land in­tend­ing to march to the coun­try’s cap­i­tal, Seoul.

Af­ter more than three days, divers have now fi­nally en­tered the ferry, re­triev­ing 26 bod­ies and bring­ing the death toll to 58.

How­ever, an­other 244 people are still miss­ing from the Se­wol ferry, which sank on Wed­nes­day. Some 174 pas­sen­gers were res­cued.

Since the cap­size many of the rel­a­tives of those on board have been on Jindo, in the south-west of the coun­try.

Hun­dreds have been camp­ing at a gym­na­sium on the is­land, await­ing news from the res­cue oper­a­tion.

Scuf­fles broke out when some fam­ily mem­bers tried to cross a bridge to the main­land, re­port­edly to march on the Pres­i­den­tial Blue House in Seoul, some 420km (260 miles) to the north.

“Bring me the body so that I can see the face and hug my child,” shouted one woman.

Lee Woon-geun, fa­ther of miss­ing pas­sen­ger Lee Jung-in, 17, said: “We want an an­swer from the per­son in charge about why or­ders are not go­ing through and noth­ing is be­ing done. They are clearly ly­ing and kick­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity to oth­ers.”

Rel­a­tives are anx­ious for the bod­ies to be re­trieved be­fore they de­com­pose.

The BBC in Jindo says even the prime min­is­ter came down to try to dis­suade the pro­test­ers from march­ing on Seoul, with of­fi­cials wor­ried that the con­tro­versy could turn into a na­tional po­lit­i­cal is­sue and harm the govern­ment.

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