‘Batik 6231 runway 33 clear for take off’. This was his last transmission to me then we replied. Thank you for keeping me and guarding me till I’m safely airborne. Then he jumped out of tower broke his leg and arm. Wing of honor for Anthonius Gunawan Agung as my guardian angel at Palu. Rest peacefully my wing man. God be with you.
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.
2. Antonius Gunawan Agung, an Indonesian heroic young Air Traffic Controller sacrificed his life to make sure a plane take off safely as the earthquake struck Palu, Indonesia. May his soul rest in peace. #PrayForPalu #PrayForDonggala #PrayForSulteng pic.twitter.com/ZKgTmmzcwZ— Indonesian Embassy - Helsinki (@kbrihelsinki) September 30, 2018
An Indonesian air traffic controller Anthonius Gunawan Agung has sacrificed his life to ensure a plane carrying hundreds of people safely made it off the ground after Friday's earthquake, He was the only person left in the control tower #PlanetHaaibo pic.twitter.com/p5BhdaerU6— Radio 2000 (@Radio2000ZA) October 1, 2018
Indonesian airport employee lauded as hero for sacrificing self to save plane: Anthonius Gunawan Agung stayed in air traffic control tower as colleagues fled to ensure passenger jet could take off before quake-tsunami hit https://t.co/JqBMNiaNfx TimesofIsrael pic.twitter.com/jwCa0WSVld— Jewish Community (@JComm_BlogFeeds) October 1, 2018
My heart breaks. Thank you, Anthonius Gunawan Agung. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/tuU0qusVFA— rielya (@reylasano) September 30, 2018
A flight video that took off from airport when the #earthqake, NOTICE the water movements!#Indonesia #earthquake #Palu #Sulawesi and #tsunami that followed #PrayForDonggala #PrayForPalu #PrayForIndonesia #GodbewithThem pic.twitter.com/qe7TKbZfGa— Andrea Legarreta (@AndeaLegarreta) September 28, 2018
An air traffic controller died as a tsunami hit Indonesia this week when he stayed behind to make sure people escaped a city safely on a plane. Anthonius Gunawan Agung was working at Palu airport when disaster hit the island on Friday evening. But instead of fleeing with… pic.twitter.com/1okGZZZ6mD— NEWS UPDATE (@GetNewsUpdates) September 30, 2018
Anthonius Gunawan Agung, you are a hero like Miki Endo from Minamisanriku, Japan.— Idan Ramdan (@IdanRamdan8) September 30, 2018
"Safe flight, take care" your words save hundreds of life.#PrayForPalu #PrayforDonggala #PrayforSulteng pic.twitter.com/fPRiL0l7u0
The personal stories from the #IndonesiaEarthQuake are starting to emerge... The Air Traffic Controller, Anthonius Gunawan Agung is being praised for ensuring the last commercial flight from #Palu was safely airborne before he tried to escape... He sadly never survived. pic.twitter.com/vjvaPYj3VB— Lukwesa Burak (@LukwesaBurak) September 29, 2018
A heroic act. May his memory be eternal. Peace to his family.— ancientgreek (@Cats4mice) September 29, 2018
Totally selfless. Bless him.— Eileen & Ronny (@EileenDucksbury) September 30, 2018
They say character is not made in a crisis, it is exhibited. People like Anthonius Gunawan Agung are examples of that. https://t.co/Gt1lLoP7oZ— FCPUI (@Rnb129) September 30, 2018
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Antara Foto, Muhammad Adimaja