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Media accuse officials over plane 'survivors' JAKARTA - Furious media accused authorities Wednesday of lying after officials erroneously reported that rescuers had found wreckage and survivors from a missing airliner carrying 102 people. "The people have been lied to," said the Pikiran Umum daily, as search and rescue teams hunted for the plane which vanished off radar screens Monday en route from central Java island to the island of Sulawesi.

"More embarrassingly, this news has been spread not just locally but all over the world," the newspaper said, adding that the way the reports spread reflected the weaknesses in the country's communication system. Much of the press said the false reports piled on the tragedy for anguished relatives waiting for news of their loved ones.

A front-page article on the Rakyat Merdeka newspaper written by a reader branded the misinformation a "national scam." "How is it that the whole of Indonesia can be blatantly lied to? From the president, the vice president, ministers and right down to the public, they were totally blinded," the article read. "This is a national communication and information tragedy. It's shameful!," he was quoted by AFP as saying.

"This national scam is really unbelievable and unthinkable. How can national information about so many lives be played around with in such a dramatic way? "The emotions of the people especially the family members are surely in turmoil. It is really inhuman." The Jakarta Post agreed. "Relatives' anguish grows with false news," the English-language daily said on its front page.

The Post said relatives who had hoped that their family members were among the 12 who reportedly survived were now even more distraught as they waited for information. The Point daily noted that Air Commodore Eddy Suyanto, commander of the Hassanuddin Air Force in Makassar, Sulawesi, had apologized to the public. "We apologize to the people," said Suyanto, who is also the National Search and Rescue Board spokesman.

Suyanto had earlier told the media that 90 people were killed, saying that an aerial photograph showed the plane was destroyed and that local residents had reported finding bodies and survivors in the jungle of West Sulawesi. The Adam Air plane with 96 passengers, including three Americans, and six crew on board vanished from air traffic control radar screens Monday. The Boeing 737-400 had sent distress signals an hour after taking off from Surabaya on Java island en route to Manado in northeast Sulawesi.


Link to related event Related event:
Adam Air plane missing

Related blog entries (category 'Media') Related blog entries (category 'Media'):
03 January 2007 · Surveillance plane makes emergency landing
03 January 2007 · Rescuers to search sea for Adam Air plane wreck
03 January 2007 · Indonesia seeks boat survivors, downed airliner
02 January 2007 · General: 'Indonesian airliner still missing'
02 January 2007 · [Update] 12 survive Adam Air jet crash; 90 dead


Posted in Media @ 03 January 2007 11:53 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





Yerun
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Aah, the blame-game has begun even before the plane has been found let alone the possible victims buried. Emoticon: Talk to the hand



kleinsmann
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You know it can make me so angry. Since I'm in Indonesia (2004), lots of things happened: earthquakes, tsunami's and a lot of other poor things for Indonesia. You should think authorities get experienced, capable, with disasters. Instead of that more and more people try to get attention, and yes point at others when it's getting difficult, over the dead bodies of others. Again America, the most hated country here, has to come with real solutions (CNN report they are sending troops over). A bloody shame...



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