The Vietnamese community is closely following the aftermath of a ferry disaster off the Republic of Korea’s southwestern coast, which claimed the life of a woman of Vietnamese origin, among others.

Rescuers on April 23 recovered the body of Phan Ngoc Thanh, who was onboard the capsized vessel with her husband and two children.

Born in the southernmost province of Ca Mau, the 29-year-old victim was married and naturalised in the RoK last July under the name “Han Yun Ji”.

Her five-year-old daughter Kwon Ji-yeon was the youngest passenger to be saved from the disaster, but her spouse and six-year-old son are still unaccounted for.

Thanh’s father Phan Van Chay and her sister Phan Ngoc Hanh flew to the RoK on April 19 to wait for new information about the tragedy. They were received by officials from the Vietnamese Embassy upon arriving in Chindo district.

Vietnamese volunteers in the RoK have actively assisted the bereaved family in accommodation, travelling, and healthcare, while staff from an RoK centre supporting multi-cultural families have expressed their deep sympathies to the victim’s relatives.

Eight days have passed since the 5-floor ferry, carrying 476 passengers and crew to the popular holiday destination Jeju island, capsized on April 16.

The latest death toll from the disaster has climbed dramatically to 171 and 131 others are still missing.
Over 60,000 Vietnamese women are married to RoK citizens and many people from the RoK are residing in Vietnam.-VNA