South Korea ferry disaster: devastated students return to classes at Danwon High School

Final year students have returned back to classes at the school where more than 300 of its students were on board the ship as it capsized

Students at the high school devastated by the South Korean ferry disaster have returned to classes today, just over a week after the ship capsized with more than 300 students from Danwon High School on board.

Education officials said the first two days of classes will focus on helping students cope with losses and trauma, with help from psychiatrists and professional counsellors. 

Almost 250 students and teachers from Danwon have been confirmed dead or are presumed to have died when the ferry sank while travelling from Incheon to Jeju Island, carrying 476 people.

A flower strewn temporary memorial was opened at the Olympic Memorial Museum during a service on Wednesday. Messages have also been posted across the Danwon School.

Twenty-two of the 29 members of the ferry's crew survived, and 11, including Capt. Lee Joon-seok, have been arrested or detained in connection with the investigation.

A hearse carrying a body of victim of the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast, arrives at Danwon High School A hearse carrying a body of victim of the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast, arrives at Danwon High School Survivors have claimed passengers were told to stay on the ship as it listed. Cha Eun-ok, who was on the deck taking photographs at the time, said an “on-board announcement told people to stay put... people who stayed are trapped”.

Final year students at Danwon began classes this morning, and younger classes will begin next week. It is not clear when the 75 students who survived will return, most of whom remain in hospital.

Lee Seung-min, an 18-year-old senior, said Wednesday that students are "constantly watching the news and crying, and going back and forth from the school, placing chrysanthemums and crying, and unable to do anything."

Notes and messages to missing teachers and students have been posted on walls, stairs, doors and windows.

"Our Jung-hoon is a nice kid," read one message, left on a door. "Please. Save him. If he won't come back, please send him to a good place."

Another read: "If I see you again, I'll tell you I love you, because I haven't said it to you enough."

The cause of the disaster has not yet been establishged. Investigators are considering a wide range of factors including wind, ocean currents, freight, modifications made to the ship and the fact that it turned just before it began listing.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003