Anthonius Gunawan Agung is real hero in Palu catastrophe: Minister

Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA News) - Anthonius Gunawan Agung, an employee of Palu-based AirNav Indonesia, was the real hero when the 7.4-magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit the city of Palu on Sept 28, according to State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno stated.

"Agung is a hero for us all. He sincerely sacrificed his life for saving the lives of those on board a commercial aircraft, which was ready for getting airborne," Rini stated while addressing attendants of the closing ceremony of 2018 IBD Expo here on Saturday.

The minister pointed out that the efforts made by this AirNav Indonesias air traffic controller for ensuring the safety of other people at a critical moment sets a fine example for the entire nation, including the employees of state-owned enterprises.

Agung has prioritized service and safety beyond his personal interests.

"Anthonius Gunawan Agung truly deserves to be highly lauded. He is really a hero and will always be so," the minister emphasized.

Rini further recalled Alfred Rahasia, the skipper of MV Bandeng, who had died after his ship sank in the waters of Loloda Isles in North Halmahera District, North Maluku Province, last August.

Both of them worked for state-owned enterprises. If Agung was employed by AirNav Indonesia, Alfred worked for the state-owned ferry operator PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry.

Minister Rini believes that Alfreds actions during the sea accident were heroic, as he had prioritized the safety of his passengers by ensuring that they all had got life vests and were rescued.

"This is an act of a hero that we should highly praise," she noted, adding that both Agung and Alfred were excellent figures and the pride of state-owned enterprises.

"Their dedication will always remain etched in our minds and hearts, and they will become our inspiring figures. May God Almighty accept their souls and those of the people killed in the Central Sulawesi catastrophe," she remarked.

The 7.4-magnitude earthquake that rocked Palu, Donggala, and Sigi on Friday (Sept 28) was followed by a tsunami.

Collaborative work between Indonesian and Thai scientists pegged that the catastrophe that hit the disaster zones in Central Sulawesi damaged at least 5,146 buildings. Palu suffered the worst impact of the strong earthquake and tsunami.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency recorded that the disaster had killed at least 1,407 people and displaced thousands of others.

In response to the catastrophe, President Joko Widodo had expressed his condolences to those affected.

Due to a large number of rotting corpses, the authorities and humanitarian workers have decided to bury them in mass graves.

Source: ANTARA News

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