Victims of the AirAsia QZ8501 accident were commemorated in Central Kalimantan on Sunday. (Antara Foto/Zabur Karuru)

AirAsia Crash Victims Remembered at Ceremony in Central Kalimantan


MARCH 22, 2015

Jakarta. Family members who lost loved when AirAsia Flight QZ8501 plunged into the Java Sea in December last year gathered for a remembrance ceremony at Kumai Bay in Central Kalimantan on Sunday.

Tears and tributes flowed as people remembered those onboard the Airbus A320-200, which vanished from radar screens on Dec. 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Surabaya to Singapore. All 162 people onboard died.

The search for the victims bodies was finally called off on Tuesday and Sunday's event served as a final send off from AirAsia Indonesia and the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).

Basarnas chief Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo led a military ceremony before the group, which also included military officers and AirAsia Indonesia staff.

The commemoration continued with a scattering of flower petals and a prayer session. A traditional ceremony called Tepuk Tepung Tawar, which is meant to ward off bad luck, followed.

"I've fully accepted this. I pray that my daughter finds peace with God," said Rohana, mother of Khairunnisa Haidar Fauzi, one of the stewardesses on the flight. "This memorial means a lot to me. I'm very thankful to Basarnas for having found my daughter's body."

Sunu Widyatmoko, president director of AirAsia Indonesia, said the memorial showed the airline's concern and sympathy tow the vitims' families.

"We're distraught that we have been unable to find all the bodies from the accident,"Sunu said. "This marks the end of our search effort with Basarnas."

A total of 56 bodies are still missing.