A powerful earthquake followed by a massive tsunami killed as many as 832 people on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Of the victims, one was a 21-year-old flight navigation service personnel, who saved several lives by sacrificing his own. He is being hailed as a "hero" across the country.
Anthonius Gunawan Agung, who would have celebrated his 22nd birthday next month, was present at Mutiara SIS Al-Jufri Airport’s air-traffic control room in Palu when the massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Island. While his co-workers chose to flee the scene, Agung decided to stay so that a plane carrying hundreds of passengers take off safely.
“When the earthquake occurred, Agung had cleared Batik Air for takeoff. He waited until the aircraft was safely in the air before leaving his air traffic controller cabin,” Jakarta Globe quoted Yohanes Sirait, a spokesperson for state-owned flight navigation service AirNav Indonesia.
Also Read | Indonesia Earthquake-Tsunami toll reaches 832, over 500 injured, thousands homeless in Sulawesi Island
Agung was working on the fourth floor of the ATC tower when the when the earthquake occurred. Once the flight safely took off, he jumped off the tower as the roof had collapsed. His legs, arms and ribs were broken.
Indonesian Flight Navigation Service Institution (AirNav Indonesia) sent a helicopter to rescue the brave man. However, he succumbed to the injuries as the chopper was on its way to a hospital in Balikpapan.
Telah wafat saat menjalankan tugasnya sebagai personel layanan navigasi penerbangan, Saudara Anthonius Gunawan Agung, Air Traffic Controller (ATC) AirNav Indonesia Cabang Palu pada Sabtu (29/09).#RIPAgung #DoaUntukSulteng#PrayforDonggala #PrayforPalu pic.twitter.com/6Wpobp3R7m— AirNav Indonesia (@AirNav_Official) September 29, 2018
The AirNav Indonesia hailed Agung’s “tremendous dedication” and acknowledged his bravery of the highest standard by raising his rank by two levels. It was truly an incident that makes us believe in humanity.