Asia

Thousands mark 2nd anniversary of S. Korean ferry disaster

  • A mother and her daughter hold a candle to pay their respects to the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol during a ceremony on the eve of the second anniversary of the ferry sinking in Ansan, South Korea, Friday, April 15, 2016. Two year ago, as South Korea writhed in grief and fury after more than 300 people, most of them school kids, drowned in a ferry sinking, it seemed things would never be the same.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    A mother and her daughter hold a candle to pay their respects to the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol during a ceremony on the eve of the second anniversary of the ferry sinking in Ansan, South Korea, Friday, April 15, 2016. Two year ago, as South Korea writhed in grief and fury after more than 300 people, most of them school kids, drowned in a ferry sinking, it seemed things would never be the same.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

  • High school students hold candles to pay their respects to the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol during a ceremony on the eve of the second anniversary of the ferry sinking in Ansan, South Korea, Friday, April 15, 2016. Two year ago, as South Korea writhed in grief and fury after more than 300 people, most of them school kids, drowned in a ferry sinking, it seemed things would never be the same.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    High school students hold candles to pay their respects to the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol during a ceremony on the eve of the second anniversary of the ferry sinking in Ansan, South Korea, Friday, April 15, 2016. Two year ago, as South Korea writhed in grief and fury after more than 300 people, most of them school kids, drowned in a ferry sinking, it seemed things would never be the same.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

  • High school students hold up their cards which read "Don't Forget " during a ceremony on the eve of the second anniversary of the ferry sinking in Ansan, South Korea, Friday, April 15, 2016. Two year ago, as South Korea writhed in grief and fury after more than 300 people, most of them school kids, drowned in a ferry sinking, it seemed things would never be the same.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    High school students hold up their cards which read "Don't Forget " during a ceremony on the eve of the second anniversary of the ferry sinking in Ansan, South Korea, Friday, April 15, 2016. Two year ago, as South Korea writhed in grief and fury after more than 300 people, most of them school kids, drowned in a ferry sinking, it seemed things would never be the same.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of South Koreans are participating in memorial events nationwide for the more than 300 people who died in a ferry disaster two years ago that deeply rattled the country.

Police say about 2,500 people gathered for an event Saturday marking the second anniversary of the sinking at a memorial altar in Ansan, where most of the victims lived.

Nearly 5,000 others are expected in the evening at a square in the capital Seoul, where relatives of the victims had camped for months in protest.

A total of 304 people died when the ferry Sewol sank off South Korea's southwest coast in April 2014 in a disaster partially blamed on official incompetence and corruption. The captain is serving a life sentence over the sinking.