Missing flight QZ8501: Hwa Chong teacher on missing plane

Missing flight QZ8501: Hwa Chong teacher on missing plane
Mr Andy Paul Chen whose girlfriend Florentina Maria Widodo was on the flight. He clears immigration to board a flight to Surabaya.

A Biology teacher from Hwa Chong Institution is among the passengers on board the missing Indonesia AirAsia QZ8501 flight.

Indonesian Florentina Maria Widodo, 26, who teaches A-level biology at the college, was also an ASEAN scholar.

She joined the National Junior College's Integrated Programme in Secondary 3, and later went on to the National University of Singapore (NUS).

She took on a teaching scholarship from the Ministry of Education and graduated from the National Institute of Education last year.

The Straits Times understands that she was in Surabaya to visit her parents, who live there.

Her younger brother, Mr Sebastian Joseph Widodo, 25, is based in Singapore too.

He was with his parents at the airport crisis centre in Surabaya yesterday as they awaited more information.

Ms Widodo's Singaporean boyfriend, Mr Andy Paul Chen, also travelled to Surabaya yesterday to meet her family.

"She is my girlfriend. I'm going there now to meet her family members," he told reporters in Mandarin at Changi Airport yesterday afternoon.

Ms Widodo and Mr Chen were both from NUS and were members of the university's guitar ensemble.

Her former schoolmates from National Junior College declined to speak to the media yesterday, saying that Ms Widodo's family had contacted them requesting that they not share information about her with the press.

A Hwa Chong spokesman said yesterday that the school is following developments on the missing aircraft closely.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Florentina's family during this difficult time, and we are currently in touch with them to render our support and assistance," said the spokesman.

This article was first published on Dec 30, 2014.
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