Missing Ferry Disaster Victims' Families Abandon Hope

      November 17, 2017 11:49

      The families of five victims of the 2014 ferry disaster have given up hope that the remains of their loved ones will ever be found.

      Six family members of the missing victims made a deep bow in Mokpo, South Jeolla Province on Thursday, the 1,311th day since the ferry sank, to express their gratitude to people who supported and encouraged them.

      "We're grief-stricken, but decided to hold our loved ones in our hearts," one of them said.

      A spokesman for the families of the missing victims in the 2014 ferry disaster talks to reporters in Mokpo, South Jeolla Province on Thursday. /Newsis

      The wreck was hauled into dock on April 11 this year to search for remains.

      Nine victims were missing when the government officially ended the underwater search on Nov. 11, 2014. The families of the missing victims have spent three winters in makeshift container homes near Jindo, South Jeolla Province.

      They moved to temporary shelters in Mokpo after the wreck was hauled in. Remains of four missing victims were recovered in a search of the wreck.

      "We've spent seven months in small containers waiting for the search but realized with growing fear and pain that we will never find our loved ones," their spokesman said.

      "We concluded that it would be excessive to demand a further search and hurt people who are supporting us."

      Families weep after announcing that they are giving up on the search for the missing victims of the 2014 ferry disaster (marked in the red box) in Mokpo, South Jeolla Province on Thursday.

      They will hold a memorial service there on Saturday.

      In lieu of the victims' bodies they will cremate the victims' student ID cards, school uniforms, wallets and other belongings that were recovered during the search.

      The urns will be buried in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province alongside other victims.

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