Indonesian minister urges citizens to stop circulating crash pictures

JAKARTA - A senior minister says people should stop circulating pictures of the victims of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 that crashed near Mt. Salak in West Java.

"I have received information that pictures of the victims have already been circulating through mobile phones. This kind of action will be painful for the victims' families. Please, stop it," Coordinating People's Welfare Minister Agung Laksono told reporters at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in East Jakarta on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com.

Agung's statement follows the circulation on BlackBerry Messenger on Friday of a photo purportedly taken at the crash site depicting the remains of two victims.

Meanwhile, dozens of relatives of the victims have assembled in front of the National Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta, where officials have taken five body bags containing the partial remains of victims and their personal effects for identification.

Officials have prepared tents in the hospital's courtyard, along with televisions tuned to news stations, for relatives as they wait.

Separately, Sr. Comr. Anton Castilani, chief of the National Police's disaster victim identification unit, said autopsies of the victims might take weeks, months or even years given that the remains were not intact and decomposition had already begun.

Become a fan on Facebook