'I don't know what to tell my children,' says wife of JT610 passenger

Helda Aprilia, 31, the wife of Ibnu Fajariyadi Hantoro, 33, a specialist at Bangka Tengah Regional Hospital shows a picture of her husband to reporters at her house in Depok, West Java, on Monday.
PHOTO: Wartakota

“How can a mother explain to her two young children that their father will never come home again?”

So said Helda Aprilia, 31, the wife of Ibnu Hantoro, a 33-year-old doctor who was among the 189 people on board Lion Air flight JT610 that crashed into the Java Sea on Monday morning. Their children are 4-year-old Farisa and 1-year-old Fatih

"I don't know what to tell them when they ask, because they will certainly ask about their father. What they do know is that their father is working," Helda, who is also a doctor, said as quoted by kompas.com.

Ibnu was on the flight from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang in Bangka Belitung Islands after visiting his family in Depok, West Java. He was on his way to report for duty as a specialist at Bangka Tengah General Hospital (RSUD) in a regency neighboring Pangkalpinang. But the flight, which carried 181 passengers, two pilots and six crew members, never made it to its destination.

Sitting inside her house in Depok, Helda, who works at the Pasar Rebo Regional Hospital in East Jakarta, told reporters on Monday that Ibnu was very caring and loving towards his family, especially Farisa and Fatih.

"He was very attentive towards his children and he loved them. He often video called them when he was in Pangkalpinang," Helda said as quoted by kompas.com.

Every time her husband had to fly back to work, their eldest daughter, Farisa, always waited for him to return. When Ibnu came home, Farisa would wait by the door to greet him and gave him a hug, Helda said.

Farisa has no idea that Ibnu is one of the victims on the downed Lion Air flight and the next hardest thing for Helda to do is to explain her husband' whereabouts to her children.

"Oh God, [Ibnu] had planned that the four of us would go on a vacation in December," Helda said.

Flight JT610 was scheduled to land at Depati Amir Airport at 7:10 a.m. on Monday, but air traffic control at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, lost contact with it shortly after take-off at 6:20 a.m. 

The plane crashed 7 nautical miles off the coast of Tanjung Bungin in Karawang, West Java. 

Lion Air plane carrying 189 people crashes into sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta

  • Chief of Indonesia's Lion Air flight JT610 search and rescue operations Muhammad Syaugi looks through recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed flight at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta
  • A pair of infant shoes is pictured among recovered belongings believed to be from the crashed Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta.
  • There were 189 people on board flight JT610 of budget airline Lion Air when ground staff lost contact with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft early on Monday, 13 minutes after it had left the airport in Jakarta, the capital.
  • Rescue team members arrange the wreckage, showing part of the logo of Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea
  • A crying mother shows a graduation picture of her son, Agil Nugroho Septian, who was a passenger on Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, at her house in Tegal, Indonesia, October 29, 2018.
  • Lutfiani shows an undated picture of her husband, Deryl Fida Febrianto, a passenger on Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, at her house in Surabaya, Indonesia, October 29, 2018.
  • A witness in the Karawang district said he had heard an explosion from the beach around the time the aircraft went down.
  • Sangeeta Suneja, mother of Bhavye Suneja, a pilot of Lion Air flight JT610 which crashed into the sea, reacts as she leaves for Jakarta, in New Delhi
  • Gulshan Suneja, father of pilot Bhavye Suneja.
  • Sony Setiawan (C) speaks to journalists at Pangkal Pinang airport in Bangka Belitung province on October 29, 2018, following his arrival on another airline after missing his pre-planned flight on Lion Air flight JT 610 which crashed off the coast north of Jakarta. - Setiawan was due to board the ill-fated Boeing-737 MAX but was held up on his commute to Soekarno-Hatta airport by Jakarta’s notorious traffic congestion.
  • A forensics team carries bodies of the victims of Lion Air flight JT610 to Sukanto National Police Hospital, East Jakarta, on Monday. In a statement, Lion Air said human remains had been collected in 24 body bags after sweeps of the crash site, which is about 15 km (nine miles) off the coast to the northeast of Jakarta.
  • Rescue team members carry a body bag with the remains of a passenger.
  • Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati hugs a relative of a victim of the Lion Air flight JT610 crash.
  • The Indonesian authorities have mounted a search and rescue operation for a Lion Air plane which crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta on Monday (Oct 29) morning.
  • There are 189 passengers and crew on board the plane, including two infants, one child, two pilots and six cabin crew.
  • The plane plunged into Karawang Bay, West Java province, Mr Muhammad Syaugi, head of the national search and rescue agency, told a press briefing.
  • The waters at the crash site are around 30m to 35m deep.
  • "On the sea surface, we found debris… The location is two nautical miles from where the plane lost contact," he told reporters.
  • The crash site is near a facility of state-owned oil company Pertamina in West Java province. A video taken from a Pertamina vessel near the crash site showed oil patches on the water surface.
  • Officials said the plane had requested a return to base before finally disappearing from the radar.
  • Local TV footage also showed wallets and mobile phones that had been retrieved from the waters.
  • The head of Indonesia's national transportation safety committee (KNKT) Dr Soerjanto Tjahjono told reporters that the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane that crashed entered service in August this year and had clocked only about 800 flight hours.
  • When asked on the cause of the crash, Dr Soerjanto said: "We can't presume anything before finding the blackbox and also the recording from the (air traffic control) tower."
  • An Indonedian boatman takes pictures as debris from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 floats at sea in the waters north of Karawang, West Java province.