INDONESIA SRIWIJAYA AIR CRASH: DISTRAUGHT RELATIVES AWAIT NEWS

Sixty-two people were on board the passenger plane which plunged into the sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta on Saturday.

A crisis centre for relatives has been set up at the airport in Jakarta

Relatives of the passengers and crew on board the ill-fated Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 are facing an agonising wait as authorities search for the wreckage.


Sixty-two people were on board the passenger plane which plunged into the sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta on Saturday.

There appears to be no hope of finding survivors.


Although no-one on board has been formally identified, information is emerging from family and friends.



Pilot Captain Afwan - The 'kind and wise' pilot


"We're in grief, still praying for the best," said Ferza Mahardhika, whose uncle was the pilot of the Sriwijaya SJ182 flight.


Captain Afwan, 54, left home quickly on the day of the doomed flight, his nephew told BBC Indonesia, complaining that "his shirt hadn't been ironed, when usually he is really neat".


The captain apologised to his three children for having to leave them again.


Captain Afwan, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, started his flying career in the air force before becoming a commercial pilot in 1987.


His family and colleagues say he was devoted Muslim, eager to help people in his neighbourhood in the West Java town of Bogor, and at work.


His profile picture on social media is a cartoon of Superman praying, with the words "it doesn't matter how high you fly, you will never reach heaven if you don't pray".


"He was a very good man. He often gave advice, wise advice. He was a prominent figure in his neighbourhood and was well-known for his kindness," said Ferza Mahardhika.


"I'm devastated and can't believe that this is happening. Please pray for uncle and our family," he added.


Dinda Amelia - The 15-year-old on vacation


Also on board was 15-year-old Dinda Amelia, who had originally gone to Jakarta on vacation.


Dinda had gone with her mother's employer whom she was close to, along with the family's two children.


Lena, her mother, said she had been working for her employer's family for a long time, and so did not refuse Dinda's request to follow the family on vacation.