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This Indonesian ATC is a true ‘hero'; He ensured that plane landed safely while building crumbled

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Jakarta, Sep 30: Anthonius Gunawan Agung, an Air Traffic Controller who is now dead, is a hero in true sense. Agung was on duty in the air traffic control tower at Palu's Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie airport when a series of earthquakes struck the city in Sulawesi island on Friday.

Representational Image

The ATC tower shook violently due to the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and began to crumble. But, Agung refused to leave his post as he was giving instructions to a pilot of a plane which was about to land, said an AFP report.

He finally ensured that Batik Air plane - Flight 6231- landed safely. His colleagues who were not handling aircraft left the crumbling, but Agung remained there committed to his duty.

Eventually, Agung jumped from the top of the crumbling four-storey tower in a desperate bid to escape, breaking his leg and suffering serious internal injuries. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he received basic treatment, but died before a helicopter could arrive to transport him to a better-equipped facility.

"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, as per an AFP report.

[At least 832 dead in Indonesia quake-tsunami disaster]

The company will raise Agung's rank by two levels as a sign of appreciation for his extraordinary dedication, AirNav said in a statement. Local station Metro TV was among those who hailed Agung's "heroic act".

The company will raise Agung's rank by two levels as a sign of appreciation for his extraordinary dedication, AirNav said in a statement.

At least 832 people are confirmed dead in Indonesia due to the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and Tsunami which followed later.

OneIndia News with PTI/AFP inputs

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