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Palu air traffic controller dies after jumping off collapsing tower during Sulawesi quake

Update: September, 29/2018 - 16:26
A screen capture of the US Geological Survey website shows a map of the location of an earthquake that struck Donggala in Central Sulawesi on Friday at 6:02 pm local time. — Photo Jakarta Post
Viet Nam News

JAKARTA — Anthonius Gunawan Agung, 21, who was on duty as an air traffic controller (ATC) at Palu airport in Central Sulawesi, died on Saturday due to injuries he suffered after jumping off an ATC tower when the 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit the area.

Didiet KS Radityo, the corporate secretary of the Indonesian Flight Navigation Service Institution (AirNav Indonesia), told The Jakarta Post that Agung, who worked for AirNav Indonesia, died in hospital on Saturday morning.

Agung, who was working on the fourth floor of the ATC tower at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu, had just cleared the lane for the departure of a Batik Air plane on Friday afternoon. He was waiting for the plane to take off.

When the plane was about to take off, the tremor hit but Agung remained in the tower. After the plane took off, Agung jumped from the tower because the roof had collapsed.

“Agung’s legs, arms and ribs were broken,” Didiet said.

Didiet said AirNav Indonesia had prepared a helicopter to take him to Balikpapan for further treatment on Saturday morning.

“But God had another plan. He passed away 20 minutes before the helicopter arrived,” he added.

“Agung dedicated himself to his job until the end of his life and did not leave the control tower until the plane took off, even though the earthquake had struck.”

Yohanes Sirait, the public relations manager at AirNav Indonesia, said in a press statement on Saturday that the institution had sent its condolences after the tragedy.

“Our deepest condolences. May Almighty God bless our family (Agung) and other victims of the earthquake in Donggala regency,” he said.  Jakarta Post/ANN

Ministry activates Tourism Crisis Centre following earthquakes in Central Sulawesi

JAKARTA — Following a powerful earthquake that struck Central Sulawesi at 6:02 pm local time on Friday, the Tourism Ministry has activated the Tourism Crisis Centre.

It will monitor the situation around the clock and coordinate with all disaster management boards, the office of tourism in Central Sulawesi, various tourist stakeholders and relevant parties in neighboring provinces to gather information on the impacted tourist sectors.

On Saturday, AirNav Indonesia announced the closure of Mutiara SIS Al Jufrie Airport in Palu until 7:20 pm.

The province experience two major earthquakes on Friday with several aftershocks. First, a 5.9-magnitude quake killed at least one person and injured at least 10 others in Donggala regency. That was followed by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake at 6:02 p.m.

As of 7:40 p.m. Jakarta time, authorities had yet to announce the extent of the damage. However, a picture shared by the spokesperson of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) showed a severely damaged Ramayana department store in Palu, and videos circulating on social media showed a high tidal wave smashing into the Baiturrahman Mosque near the Palu Grand Mall on Palu’s coast.

As communications in the area might still be affected, the crisis center has advised that tourists stay updated via official government websites or social media accounts, such as @infoBMKG and @BNPB_Indonesia on Twitter and Instagram. — Jakarta Post/ANN

 

 

 

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