Air Traffic Controller Sacrifices His Life To Guide Passenger Jet

The air traffic controller kept standing at his post to make sure a passenger plane took off safely during the earthquake in Indonesia.


An Indonesian air traffic controller is being hailed as a true hero after he sacrificed his life to save a passenger plane during an intense earthquake in the country.

Anthonius Gunawan Agung could run for his own safety as the 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck Palu in Sulawesi Island, but he kept standing on the cabin tower at the Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie airport to guide a passenger plane that was ready to take off.

The 21-year- old made sure the plane cleared safely off the ground that was trembling below his feet. He was the only man standing on ground guiding Flight 6231 to take off in the air as the quake became stronger; meanwhile, all his friends had departed the location to save their lives.

“When the quake happened, he was giving clearance to Batik Air to take off and waited for the plane to be safely airborne before finally leaving the ATC cabin tower,” said AirNav Indonesia spokesman Yohanes Harry Sirait.

After the plane took off, Agung jumped off the crumbling four story tower as the jolts became stronger. In an attempt to save his life, the air traffic controller broke his leg; he also suffered from internal injuries.

Agung was then taken to a nearby hospital for basic treatment, but succumbed to the injuries before another helicopter could arrive to take him to a better equipped facility.

Agung compromised his life to save everyone on board the plane. Palu was later ravaged by a tsunami. The Indonesian Air Navigation increased Agugn’s rank by two levels in recognition of his “extraordinary dedication.”

Had he been alive, he would have turned 22 on the 24th of October.

People on social media paid tribute to Agugn’s bravery.












Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Antara Foto, Muhammad Adimaja

View Comments

Recommended For You