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Indonesian woman who lost fiance in Lion Air crash pleads for safe planes

Indonesian woman who lost fiance in Lion Air crash pleads for safe planes
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JAKARTA (Reuters) – An Indonesian woman whose fiance was among 189 people killed when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near Jakarta last month implored authorities on Friday to improve the safety and regulation of the country’s airlines.

Intan Indah Syari had been due to marry her high-school sweetheart, Rio Nanda Pratama, who was a doctor, on November 11.

Photographs of Syari wearing her white wedding dress, alone, on the day of their planned ceremony went viral on social media with thousands of likes and an outpouring of sympathetic comments from around the world.

“I want him, now that he is on the other side, to know that I’m happy. This was to pay him my last respects,” Syari said, explaining her decision to wear the dress and how her fiance’s last wish had been to see photos of her in the gown.

“We had been waiting for this moment for 13 years, including six years in a long distance relationship, but at the end I lost my fiance,” she told Reuters, speaking softly. 

Syari said she had kept calling his mobile phone on the days immediately after the Oct. 29 crash, clinging to a faint hope that he might be still alive.

His body was later identified and search officials found his shoes, as well as a bag and paperwork belonging to him.

Indonesian investigators are due to publish a preliminary report on the crash later this month in a bid to explain why the nearly new Boeing Co 737 MAX jet slammed violently into the sea during clear weather.

Pratama’s father has filed a U.S. lawsuit against Boeing, alleging it did not adequately warn Lion Air or its pilots of an unsafe design condition. Boeing is headquartered in Illinois.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned airlines last week that erroneous inputs from the system’s sensors could lead the jet to automatically pitch its nose down even when autopilot is turned off, making it difficult for pilots to control.

Urging regulators to prevent any recurrence of such a crash, Syari said that all her hopes and dreams had been shattered.

“Please improve the regulation of the aviation industry, in terms of safety and inspections, before a flight takes off,” she said. “If a flight is not fit to fly, please do not let it leave.”

(Reporting by Cindy Silviana and Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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