By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Members of the Korean community in Philadelphia are expressing shock over the sinking of a South Korean ferry with hundreds of high school students on board.

(Read more: Ferry Carrying 462 People Sinks Off The Coast Of South Korea)

At the office of the Korea Times of Philadelphia on West Cheltenham Avenue in Elkins Park, a reporter and editor are preparing the story of the ferry loss.

Publisher David Ahn says the Korean language publication is hearing from and reaching out to those who are living in our region but who were born in Korea. All of them, he says, still communicate primarily in the language they learned on the peninsula.

“They feel deep sorrow and grief because of what happened and they wish a fast and safe rescue for the rest of the missing students,” Ahn says. “The students were on the way to the island for a class trip.”

Ahn says Korean Christian churches in the area have a heavy schedule of special services for Easter Week and he has heard some already are planning special prayers for the victims and their families.

Ahn adds the village where the high school is located in is an extremely rural area located at the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula.

He says from accounts he’s been monitoring in Korean media, the ferry had a good safety record and investigators are pledging a through examination of the conditions that caused it to capsize.

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