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17 Year Boy Makes the Heaven Cry

Posted July. 18, 2003 22:09,   


It was a holiday but a high school boy followed his father voluntarily to a construction site where his father works. Leaving the temptation of his friends asking him to go to an Internet cafe behind, he followed his father as he wanted to help him who overworks himself.

The son and father, however, passed away while working together. It happened in a matter of moment.

People who knew them loss their words before the death of the son and father who were poor but warm-hearted. Although the son, who always changed his clothes to fatigues on holidays to help his father, had a poor family, he maintained his spirit high and was popular among friends.

A Hwang (26, office worker) who subcontracted noise prevention work for the basement floor of a 4 story commercial building in Jamsil, Songpa-gu, Seoul found Shin Hae-gyun(47) and his son Shin Dong-hyun(17) who were working on the site dead and called the police at around 2 p.m. yesterday.

The two Shins were working yesterday 9:30 p.m. at the basement floor where air is hardly ventilated and lost consciousness from suffocation caused by toxic gas of industrial bond they used for adhering sponges to the walls of the basement for sound proof, according to the Police.

They came early to the construction site at about 8 a.m. in order to expedite the construction schedule, but Shins were exposed to the poison gas while overworking for about an hour, sources said.

Shin Hae-gyun, the father, had been running a facility company for 15 years but the company got bankrupted in the 1998 foreign currency crisis and had to work for various markets and construction sites. His wife (43) also managed living by working as a sale person for a cosmetic company making small but extra earnings.

Shin Hae-gyun once thought of committing suicide due to financial difficulties, but endured the difficulties for the sake of his ever cheerful son and daughter (23). About 2 years ago from now, he started to work as a subcontractor for soundproof work using his experience on the construction sites when he was young.

He was frugal. He even cut down on his drinks and saved money. He then got a loan and he could recently manage to move in to a small about 20 pyeong intergenerational house in Gongneung-dong, Nowon-gu, Seoul from a single room.

The son (2nd grade at an information high school student) looked upon such a father and used to accompany his father without any complaint to construction sites on every holiday. He had a dream of becoming a dental technician and got into the college exam preparation class and studied till late at school during week days. So the father used to tell him only to concentrate on his study but the efforts were fruitless on him. He used to say, “Father I can do my study well enough while helping you.”

The mother was at the funeral held at a city owned hospital in Gangnam. He could not take the fact that her beloved son and husband passed away.

At the funeral where it is so empty that only the pictures of the deceased and few bunches of roses were on the tables could come into one’s eye, only about 10 people such as some relatives of Shins and a friend of the son wearing a black suit were expressing their condolence.

“He had a solid object and was diligent. The situation of his family got somewhat better and it was about time for him to concentrate on the study and …,” the son`s teacher, Kwon Ki-ate(45) couldnot finish his words saying,

“He had good relationship with others and used to hang around with friends well. I am not believe that he is dead,” said one of his classmate showing his tears.