AirAsia flight QZ8501: First stories behind tragic victims of crash emerge

Wreckage of Flight QZ8501 was discovered off the coast of Borneo

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The Independent Online

Details are emerging slowly of the lives of the tragic victims of AirAsia crash as recovery teams work to retrieve the bodies off the coast of Borneo.

Ruth Natalia Puspitasari, her fiance, Bob Hartanto Wijaya

Ms  Puspitasari would have turned 26 yesterday had she not been on the flight with her fiancé and his parents, ahead of celebrating her birthday in Singapore. The economics student, who met her future husband while studying at Petra Christian University in Surabaya, Indonesia, had recently moved to Guangzhou Province in China but her fiancé had stayed behind after becoming co-owner of a toy shop in his home town of Malang.

Khairunnisa Haidar Fauzi

Known to her friends as Nisa, the 22-year-old former law student was pursuing her dreams of working for the airline as a flight attendant. Her father described his “beautiful and smart” daughter and said he and his wife had last seen her six weeks ago.


One of Nisa’s final posts on Instagram was a picture of a note pinned to a plane, it reads: “I LOVE YOU FROM 38000ft”.

Oscar Desano

Flight attendant Mr Desano, who describes himself on his Twitter profile as a “Sagittarian who needs to see a shrink immediately!”, also posted images of himself with the crew.


The image above was taken in 2011, shortly after he completed his training to be a flight attendant and is captioned with "The new Me".

Captain Iriyanto


An Indonesian national, he was formerly a F-16 fighter pilot, who later moved to commercial flights clocking up over 20,000 hours in the air. Friends have desciebed him as “professional and humble”. He leaves behind a young son and 22-year-old daughter.

According to his brother, Iriyanto’s son, Arya Galih Gegana, "thinks daddy is still at work.”


Siau Alain Octavianus

Octavianus was enjoying a family holiday before getting married to fiancé Louise Sidharta. Sidharta heard the news of the flight’s disappearance as she travelled to the airport to pick him up. "It was to be his last vacation with his family," she told CNN.

Sri Ratri Andriani

Worked as a travel agent and was travelling to Singapore as a guide for local tourists. Two days ago her elder brother Doni Nur Wahyu told the Wall Street Journal: ““I hope my sister is still safe.” He will be among those hundreds mourning lost loved ones today.

Lindawati Anggara

Only a high school student, he was on a family holiday with his father Rudy Soetjipto Lindawati Anggara mother, and his brother Kevin Alexander Soetjipto. He told a teacher before he left he was going to Singapore to celebrate the New Year.

Reggy Ardhi, Caroline Harwon Lioe, Marianne Claudia Ardhi, Michelle Clemency Ardhi and Jayden Cruz Ardhi

Travelling to Singapore to celebrate New Year as a family, Jayden, Marianne and Michelle were students at a local high school. Raven Limadinata told CNN he received a message from Michelle as the plane took off, captioned: “by Surabaya.” He described her as a “smart girl”.

Choi Chi Man, Zoe Man Suen Choi

The only British national on board the AirAsia flight, he had just started a job as an executive. He was travelling with his two-year-old daughter Zoe.

chi-man-choi.jpgNico Giovanni, Justin Giovanni

The 18-year-old scholarship student had recently completed his first year at the Anglo-Chinese School. A friend told the Straits Times Nico Giovanni was “very reserved” but “hard-working and respectful”. It is believed he was with his parents and brother Justin on the plane.

Feilensia Sularmo Go,

Mrs Sularmo Gos brother said she was travellign with her family. He told the Wall Street Journal: “I’ve never felt such [terrible] feeling like this before. I’m very close to my sister”.

Sukiatma Haripin, Hermanto Tanus, Indahju Liangsih, Susiyah and Thejakusuma


Only 17 years old, Sukiatma Haripin was travelling with his whole family – including his younger brother, nine-year-old Thejakusuma.


The family were travelling to Singapore in order to meet see their daughter Chiara Natasya Tanus who was studying in the city.

Jo Indri, Charlie Gunawan, Jie Steven Gunawan, Jie Stevie Gunawan, Kayla Audrey Gunawan,  Kenneth Mathew Gunawan, Hendra Gunawan Syawal

Jo Indri had decided to go to Singapore with five other members of her family. Her daughter explained they were all too busy to celebrate Christmas together. "There was not enough time to even go to the cinema,” she told to Channel Asia two days ago. “I am not too concerned but my nephew dreamt of Jo Indri wearing a very beautiful dress. Hopefully, it is not a bad sign."

Gusti Made Bobbi Sidharta, Donna Indah Nurwatie, Gusti Ayu Putriyana, Gusti Ayumade Keisah

The couple were travelling together with their two children 16-year-old Putriyana and nine-year-old Keisah. Family member, Dimas Ade Nurcahyo described the “whole family” as “very nice people".

Jimmy Sentosa Winata Oei, Boby Hartanto Winata, Ingrid Jessica Winata

The family were travelling together - Jimmy Sentosa Winata Oei’s was at first relieved when she saw the news. “My brother never flies AirAsia,” she told KPLR11. Then she saw his name and the names of her nephew and niece on TV screen. Her nephew, Boby, was a Manchester United and FC Barcelona supporter.

Florentina Maria Widodo

Florentina Maria Widodo

Biology teacher at Hwa Chong Institution was affectionately known to family and friends as Tina. She and her boyfriend Andy Paul Chen met at the National University of Singapore, playing guitar together.

Chung Hei Sii

The only Malaysian on board the plane, is believed to have worked for a timber company and frequently travelled between Sinagpore and his home state of Sarawak.

Kevin Alexander Soetjipto, Cindy Clarissa Soetjipto, Rudy Soetjipto

Brother and sister were seated next to one another and a relative on the plane. Kevin Soetjipto was a student at Monash University. A spokesperson for the school told the Herald Sun the community was “deeply saddened to learn this news” of its “valued student”.