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‘I’m still shocked’: Indonesian airline crash shakes small fishing village by Dera Menra Sijabat and Richard C. Paddock January 14,2021   |  Source: The New York Times

Hendrik Mulyadi was checking his crab traps when he heard a huge explosion on the water nearby. The sea suddenly rose, lifting the Indonesian fisherman’s boat as smoke filled the air.

“I’m lucky it didn’t hit me,” he recalled on Monday, sitting at his home on Lancang Island and still visibly shaken by what he saw. “It was like lightning, very fast. It exploded when it hit the water. I saw debris floating. It was airplane debris.”

Mr. Hendrik, 30, was one of five crab fishermen who were out working on the water Saturday afternoon when Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 fell from the sky minutes after takeoff with 62 people onboard, 10 of them children and babies. The plane crashed into the Java Sea, about 300 feet from where Mr. Hendrik was fishing.

Normally a sleepy island with relatively few visitors, Lancang has become a base for the aircraft search and recovery operation led by Basarnas, Indonesia’s national search and rescue agency. The crash site is less than a mile from the island’s mangroves, coconut and banana trees.

The islanders, many of whom live in colorful, single-story homes, can now see dozens of vessels offshore, combing the area for wreckage and bodies and trying to recover the black box.

The Sriwijaya flight, which was bound for the city


© 2021 The New York Times Company

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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