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SEOUL, South Korea - Teenage survivors of South Korea's ferry disaster walked out of classrooms on Tuesday and marched on parliament to demand an inquiry into the more than 300 deaths. More than half of the 75 children rescued from the ferry Sewol that capsized and sank on April 16 joined growing public calls for parliament to pass a special bill for an independent inquiry sought by victims' families. More than 3.5 million signatures have been collected to demand its passage.
"We ask that the truth behind the unfair deaths our friends suffered be told," said one boy taking part, who asked not to be identified. Of the 476 passengers and crew, 339 were children and teachers from Danwon High School on the outskirts of Seoul. Many of the children wore the bracelets emblazoned with "Remember 0416" or sashes and kerchiefs made out of yellow pieces of cloth - the color chosen to express dissatisfaction with the authorities' handling of the disaster. The children made their way to a small park where 15 relatives of victims were undertaking the second day of a hunger strike to press for the bill. The Sewol's 15 surviving crew members, including the captain, are on trial on charges ranging from homicide to negligence.