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South Korea ferry disaster: Three victims named 'martyrs'

Published on May 12, 2014 5:55 PM
 
A woman weeps during a rally paying tribute to victims of the Sewol ferry disaster in Seoul on May 10, 2014. South Korea on May 11, 2014, recognised three people who died saving others in last month's ferry disaster as national "martyrs". -- FILE PHOTO: AFP 

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea on Monday recognised three people who died saving others in last month's ferry capsize as national "martyrs" - lending a heroic chapter to a disaster narrative dominated by accusations of cowardice, corruption and incompetence.

All three were part-time crew members, including an engaged couple - Kim Ki Woong and Jung Hyun Seon - who could have escaped the sinking vessel but stayed to help trapped passengers.

The third was Park Ji Young, 21, the youngest crew member, who became a public hero after it emerged that she had given her lifejacket to a passenger as she sought to guide people to safety.

Being designated martyrs entitles them to burial at a national cemetery, and their families will be eligible for financial compensation, medical assistance and other incentives.

 
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