A photo of Phan Ngoc Thanh, 29, and her 5-year-old daughter. Thanh's body was recovered from the wreck of a Korean ferry on Wednesday; her daughter was rescued on April 16. Her Korean husband and their 6-year-old son remain missing.
The body of a Vietnamese mother of two was recovered from a sunken South Korean ferry a week after rescuers saved her five year old daughter.
The body of Phan Ngoc Thanh, 29, was removed from the wreck of the Sewol Wednesday night, according to a statement sent to the Vietnamese embassy in Seoul.
Thanh’s father Phan Van Chay and sister Phan Hong Hanh continue to await news of her husband and 6-year-old son at Jindo port . They flew from their home in Vietnam’s southernmost province of Ca Mau early Sunday with the embassy's support.
Thanh's body had not begun to decompose and was discovered trapped near the ferry's dining room.
The vessel sank on April 16 as it made its way toward Jeju island.
Authorities have confirmed 156 passenger deaths, many of them students on a highs school trip; 143 others remain missing.
Thanh earned Korean citizenship last year.
The Korea Times said the family was moving to the island to start a new life growing tangerines and escaping the urban rat race. The ferry held a moving truck full of their furniture.
Their daughter Kwon Ji-yoen survived by clutching a lifebuoy given to her by her brother Kwon Hyuk-kyu.
“My mother and brother put a life jacket on me and pushed me up,” she told nurses at Hankuk Hospital in Mokpo. Four male passengers had passed her as they struggled to climb out of the tilted vessel.
Nurses have used social networks to track down her Korean relatives and Thanh’s father and sister have visited the girl at the hospital.
Nguyen Thi Nga, Thanh’s mother, told news website VnExpress she had spoken with her granddaughter who could not only say “grandma… uncle” and burst into tears.
Nga said the girl would be taken care of by her father’s family.
“I planned to bring my daughter’s ashes to Vietnam but my husband didn't want that. He didn't want to separate her and her husband.”
Nga said Thanh went to South Korea with her husband eight years ago but she called home every one or two days and put her children on the phone--though they could only speak a few words of Vietnamese.
“They were adorable. They could only say several words, like grandma, grandpa, eat, drink and Vietnam.”
Nga said Thanh had informed her of her Jeju plans which arose when her husband's parents needed someone to look after their tangerine orchards.
She said they would put their furniture on the ferry and the family would fly there. “Maybe she couldn't find her plane tickets?" the grandmother wondered.
“She told me she would call when she arrived, but I kept waiting. I called her phone on the morning of April 16; it rang but no one answered,” she said.
She only heard of the ferry disaster two days later.
The 10,000 ton ferry now lies 37 meters underwater. The cause of the accident has not been confirmed but experts suspect it struck an underwater object , which caused it to pitch and finally sink over.
Captain Lee Joon-Seok and six crew members have been arrested.
Yonhap News Agency reported that Lee, who handed the helm to his third officer before the accident and abandoned the ferry when it sank, faces five charges ranging from criminal negligence to violation of maritime law.
Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment