Indonesia Volcano Rescue attempt ends in tragedy

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A SON’S attempt to save his father and uncle from Mount Merapi’s hot ash cloud ended with the deaths of all three men. Their bodies were found at a mosque just 4km away from the volcano’s peak.

Ngatiyem, 45, was tearful as she recalled last Tuesday’s incident which took the life of her husband Sarnotomo, 45, her son Adrianto, 24, and her brother-in-law Widhodo, 30.
“At 6pm, an alert was issued for the evacuation from our village of Kinahrejo.

“My son was ready to take me down, but I wanted to leave with my husband.

He (Sarnotomo) refused as he and his brother wanted to perform the maghrib prayer,” she said, when met at the Desa Kedungbrayut evacuation centre here yesterday.Ngatiyem said her husband had acted weird several hours before the incident when he lit a cigarette in their house.

“He never smoked in his life and as an obedient wife, I did not ask him why.”
She said after her husband left early for the mosque not far from their home, she went to the evacuation centre with her son.

“When we arrived at the centre, I told my son not to forget to go back and fetch his father and uncle.

“He then left and that was the last time I spoke with Adrianto,” said Ngatiyem as she held back her tears.
She prayed for their safety, expecting them to be at the health centre, or in other evacuation centres.

“A day after the incident, I was told by the authorities that my husband and his brother were found in each other’s arm inside the mosque.

“What is more sad was that my son’s burnt body was found outside the mosque near his motorcycle where he had waited for them.”

Read more: Rescue attempt ends in tragedy


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