Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Funeral held for first victim of Indonesian plane crash



Funeral held for first victim of Indonesian plane crash

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Forensic policemen conduct identifications of victims of Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 at Tanjung Priok port, north of Jakarta on January 13. AFP

Funeral held for first victim of Indonesian plane crash

Grieving friends and relatives were expected at a Jakarta cemetery on December 14 for the funeral of a flight attendant on the crashed Indonesian passenger jet, as divers restarted their hunt for its second black box.

Okky Bisma, 29, was the first confirmed victim of Saturday’s disaster after fingerprints from his retrieved hand were matched to those on a government identity database.

There were 62 crew and passengers, including 10 children, on the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500, which plunged about 3,000m in less than a minute before slamming into the Java Sea just after take-off from Jakarta.

At least five other victims have since been identified, as forensic examiners sort through mangled human remains retrieved from the wreckage-littered seabed in the hope of matching DNA with relatives.

Funeral traditions in Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation, call for a quick burial of the dead.

But the identification process could take weeks or more, prolonging the agony for some distraught families.

Nearly 270 divers were on hand on December 14 as authorities restarted the underwater hunt, which was called off a day earlier due to bad weather and rough seas.

“The main focus [today] will be the diving,” said Rasman MS, the search-and-rescue agency’s operations director.

“We’re not just looking for one thing – victims, the cockpit voice recorder and debris are all priorities.”

Investigators have said they are working to read critical details on a flight data device that had already been salvaged, with the focus now on finding the plane’s cockpit voice recorder.

Black box data includes the speed, altitude and direction of the plane as well as flight crew conversations, and helps explain nearly 90 per cent of all crashes, according to aviation experts.

So far authorities have been unable to explain why the 26-year-old plane crashed just four minutes after take-off, bound for Pontianak city on Borneo island, a 90-minute flight away.

It had experienced pilots at the controls, and preliminary evidence showed that the crew did not declare an emergency or report technical problems as it sharply deviated from its planned course just before the crash, authorities said.

Bad weather, pilot error, poor maintenance and mechanical failure were among possible factors, aviation analysts said.

As the global pandemic hammered demand for air travel, the jet – previously flown by US-based Continental Airlines and United Airlines – had been parked in a hangar for about nine months before it was put back into service in December after being declared airworthy, according to the transport ministry.

Since then, it had flown more than 130 times before the accident, flight tracking data showed.

The crash probe was likely to take months, but a preliminary report was expected in 30 days.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement