Home > Corruption, Human rights, Papua New Guinea > Ferry disaster survivors return home

Ferry disaster survivors return home

February 25, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Alexander Nara 

A mom who just could not hold on any more dropped down on the car park at Hoskins airport as each survivor of the fatal Rabaul Queen disaster disembarked from the Q400 air niugini plane that touched down at Hoskins at around 3: 20 pm yesterday afternoon. Beating the tar with her bare hands and calling out her daughter’s name in a chocking, tireless and almost worn out …voice knowing really well that she is not on the plane but lie somehwere deep within the seabed somewhere in the bismark seas..

On a red dyna parked on one side of the car park, a 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl also stared in confusion at their crying aunty, not knowing that their mom, Gorethy Laupu whose body is still missing somewhere out in the Finchafen waters would never see them again.

Around the fences, relatives of the only body, Agnes Konang from Waloka village in the Hoskins area who came with the 22 survivors broke into uncontrolled tears as the casket was removed from the plane and carried by six young boys to the awaiting ambulance.

The WNB Provincial Administrator, members of the Provincial Executive Council and senior government officers within the WNB Administration wept openly with the public as they formed a guide of honor as part of this teary and heart breaking welcome. Many came to welcome and received their love ones who survived while many others painfully and helplessly weeping for they have nothing to see or properly bury as these love ones have become part of one of the worst sea disaster ever experience in Papua New Guinea.

The procession took almost an hour as relatives, friends and immediate families of the survivors embraced each other amidst tears before being asked to board almost 10 buses which were hired by the WNB provincial government to meet and transport the survivors and their relatives to their various locations.

However all survivors were transported to Hoskins Girls Technical High School where an official welcome was made by the Provincial Administrator Steven Raphael after two survivors, Alphonse Liato and Livingston Mundawi gave insights to the last immediate minutes of the disaster.

Agnes Konang body was taken direct to Waloka for burial accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Administrator – Corporate Services Williamson Hosea and Provincial Chairman of Economic Services Victor Narere.

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  1. sorboh
    February 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    My heart hurts for the survivors and those who lost loved ones. To the children who lost parents and parents who lost their children. The greatest thing about the human spirit is the ability to eventually get over the pain, difficulties and losses. Picking up the little pieces and moving on. During this difficult time God is watching over us all, draw strength in him and find peace.

  2. PK
    February 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Alex, what a heart wrenching account bringing to life – almost- the vivid recollections, images, of the fury of nature combined with the ignorance, indiscretion of man unperturbed by greed and lust for wealth. I wonder what Peter Sharp and his minions might be thinking and feeling. Yours is a report few journalists can put so succinctly together, made so real and personal by the mention of names – no beautiful language but just raw and innocent truth telling a “no homecoming” like it happened.

    Someone must carry the can for this – but we know this is a country where many man-made disasters as a result of human error get swept under the carpet.
    pk

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