Flight QZ8501: Indonesian student studying in Singapore clinging to hope

Flight QZ8501: Indonesian student studying in Singapore clinging to hope
Not giving up: Chiara holding up a portrait of her family members who are all on the missing flight. Also with her is her aunt (left).

SURABAYA - All week, Chiara Natasya Tanus had been waiting eagerly for a visit from her family from Surabaya whom she had not seen since she left for Singapore to pursue her secondary education two months ago.

The 15-year-old said this was the first time she had travelled to study and had promised to make up to her family for the Christmas gathering she missed.

“It was supposed to be the best time in Singapore as we were planning to spend the rest of the holidays together,” she said, holding back tears.

Now she clings on to the hope that she still has her whole family – father Herumantu Tanus and mother Indahju Liangsih, both 46, her elder brother Nico Giovanni, 17, and younger brother Justin Giovanni, nine.

They were aboard the Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that went missing en route to Singapore on Sunday with 155 passengers and a crew of seven.

Chiara was flown to Surabaya after news broke that the Airbus A320-200 had disappeared.

“My mum called me on the 23rd and told me she would visit me very soon, but then this happened,” she said at the crisis centre at Juanda International Airport here.

“I was so excited. I was looking forward to showing my dormitory to my family and we were planning for a holiday in Singapore,” she added.

 

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