Lion Air crash: Social media users identify couple whose photo was seen on recovered mobile phone case

The mobile phone case shows the back view of a couple linking arms as they walk across a bridge.
The mobile phone case shows the back view of a couple linking arms as they walk across a bridge.PHOTO: AFP

As rescuers comb the Java Sea in search of survivors of the ill-fated Lion Air Flight JT610, a photograph of a mobile phone case strewn among the personal belongings that have been recovered so far has rallied Indonesian social media users.

The mobile phone case shows the back view of a couple linking arms as they walk across a bridge.

A small black pouch and what appears to be part of a boarding pass lie next to the phone case.

The image, which was among the early scenes that emerged from Monday's (Oct 29) tragic crash, was shared on Twitter by Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Flight JT610, which was on its way to Pangkal Pinang, plunged into the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport on Monday morning, with rescuers now fearing that all 189 people on board have died.

Indonesian social media users, intrigued by the image, began efforts to identify the pair on the phone case and find out their story.

They quickly identified the image on Instagram as belonging to Ine Yunita Savitri, according to British broadcaster BBC.

Ms Savitri has since privatised her Instagram account.

The BBC report said that Ms Savitri was not on the plane but her husband Wahjoe Noegrohantoro was, and the phone case belonged to him.

His nephew, Mr Antonius Hartono, told the BBC that he had spotted the case after his mother told him that his uncle had been on board the flight.

He was quoted as saying: "Every time I see that picture on social media, I feel really sad.

"I can't imagine how his wife and children would feel."

He added: "It is very shocking. One week ago, I met him and our big families on vacation. We didn't realise that a week after, he would be gone."

On Facebook, a woman who said she was Mr Noegrohantoro's cousin expressed her condolences on his death and shared a screenshot of Ms Savitri's Instagram post.

The woman, who goes by the name Asthy Kuthy Bhreh Hapsari on Facebook, also shared a photo of the family. She added that she was praying for the family.

The 189 people on board Flight JT610 included two infants, one child, two pilots, six flight attendants and 20 Finance Ministry staff who were in Jakarta for a commemorative event last Saturday.

Indian-born Captain Bhavye Suneja has been identified as the pilot of the plane, while the co-pilot has been named as Harvino.

Captain Bhavye Suneja was the pilot of the ill-fated Lion Air Flight JT610. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

The six cabin crew were named as Shintia Melina, Citra Noivita Anggelia, Alviani Hidayatul Solikha, Damayanti Simarmata, Mery Yulianda and Deny Maula.

Ms Solikha’s Instagram account received a spike in followers after news broke that she was on board the flight.


There were close to 36,000 followers on Wednesday, up from 2,000.

According to Indonesian newspaper Kompas, Ms Solikha had posted an Instagram story three hours before the flight. She is believed to have started flying only two months ago.

In July, the stewardess shared two photos of her and her colleagues on an aircraft.

In the posts, she thanked them for their guidance. She also said that she was not perfect but she wanted to enjoy every moment of her life, and smile whether it is a good or bad situation.

Favourable weather conditions in recent days have enabled divers and other search and rescue personnel to recover the personal belongings of some passengers and locate the tail section of the Boeing 737 Max plane.

As of Tuesday, 34 body bags containing human remains, including possibly that of a baby, have been sent for DNA testing.

Another 14 bags of debris from the crash were also recovered, although the black box flight recorder has yet to be found.