About a dozen Los Angeles Korean church leaders held a prayer vigil today for victims aboard a sunken South Korean ferry boat.
The ship carrying hundreds passengers sank today (Korean time), with passengers describing women screaming in the darkness, according to media reports.
Hyepin Im, president, Korean Churches for Community Development, said her heart has gone out to the families impacted by the tragedy.
"The Korean community who are living in the United States wanted the families and the victims who have been shipwrecked to understand that we here support them and want to pray for them," Im said.
The prayers spoken in Korean during the vigil asked for help for any survivors who have not been rescued, according to Im.
"For many Korean Americans here, our families are still in South Korea," she said. "... In that way, we are one family. Our connection is very strong. Their sadness is our sadness."
Some 281 passengers, many of them high school students, remain missing, according to The New York Times, citing information from the Ministry of Security and Public Administration. Six people have been confirmed dead, including three teenage students and a crew member.
Of the 462 on board, 325 were students at Danwon High School in a town south of Seoul, the newspaper reported.
The vigil was held at the Korean Federation of Los Angeles building by members of the Korean Churches for Community Development, Korean Federation of Los Angeles and Council of Korean Churches in Southern California.
—City News Service