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Tragedy Strikes 2 Moms on Chuseok Eve

Posted October. 05, 2006 07:12,   


In the run-up to Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving Day, two mothers show great motherhood and sacrifice. What is more heartbreaking is that the two mothers were leading harsh lives after losing their husbands.

On October 3, at 6:57 in the evening, a seven-year-old red Atoz was parked heading up the hill in front of Cheonghak welfare center, Dongsam-dong, Yeongdo-gu, Busan.

Mrs. Cheon (41) was poor enough to live at the welfare center. She had to travel long way since she worked as an employee who changes water purifier filter. She managed to pay 400,000 won to buy the car.

She was to give a ride her sister’s daughter (4), who visited her aunt, back to her home. She got her son (8) and her niece in the car and opened the trunk to put gifts for her sister.

At that moment, the car started to move backward down the hill. Her son was sitting at the backseat but he wanted to sit next to his mother. While moving to the front seat, he touched handbrake.

As soon as she sensed “something’s wrong,” she tried to push the car. Yet the car started to run down the slope of five to 10 degree.

If the car went down unstopped, it would fall down the brink, running through a wired netting. It was very urgent.

Mrs. Cheon struggled to block the car from going down. The car weighs around 800kg. She exhibited supernatural power and tried to stop the car, thinking of her son and niece in the car. Yet she was pushed down 16 meters and the wire netting was just two meters away.

Exhausted, she fell down with her head slamming to the asphalt-paved ground and her body crushed under the car. It happened just 20 seconds, too short for neighbors to help her.

A witness (39) said “We screamed to her to escape, but she tried to stop the car even when she was crushed under the car.”

Her neighbor called ambulances and had her transferred to the nearby hospital. Yet she died while on the move because of pressure and concussion of the brain.

The car with her son and niece was safe thanks to the wire netting.

Her brother (45) at the funeral wailed, saying, “She struggled to live after her husband died of cancer eight years ago. Why this happened to her?”

At 7:00 p.m., on the same day. 28-year-old Mrs. Chung was sleeping at a rental room in the residential area in Choryang2-dong, Dong-gu, Busan, when she felt a hot fire.

She escaped out screaming “Fire!” Yet, she couldn’t find her son (6). When she realized her son had been sleeping next to her, not knowing the fire erupted, the fire was engulfing the room.

She went into the fire to save her son who was the only one she loved in the world after her husband died in a car accident three years ago.

She could not escape out of the building despite the prayers of neighbors.

The police said, “She was dead crouching toward the window and her son was dead next to her. She seemed to have suffocated to death while trying to escape through the window with her son.”

She raised two eight-year-old and six-year-old sons after having lost her husband. As a government handout recipient, she let her elder son live with in-law family and lived with her younger son as financial situation got worse.