Monday, December 29, 2014 8:00 am
*Wife and son still waiting at the Changi airport
The family of a British man who was travelling on the passenger jet missing off the coast of Indonesia have admitted they are preparing ‘for the worst’, as searches began again this morning.
Chi-Man Choi, who is originally from Hull, Yorkshire, was flying from Indonesia to Singapore with his two-year-old daughter, Zoe, where they were expected to reunite with his wife and son, a report by Mail Online said today.
His brother, Chi-Wai Choi, last night said he was comforting his elderly parents, hoping for positive news but nevertheless ‘preparing them for the worst.’
‘It doesn’t look good at the moment. I am sure if there was anything to find then they would have found it by now.’ he told The Sun. ‘It is a very tricky time at the moment. We are just holding together for my parents.
‘They don’t know what to make of it.’
Chi-Man Choi, a University of Essex graduate, was the managing director of an energy company in Indonesia.
He purchased his plane ticket and that of his daughter on Boxing Day – according to the passenger manifest – and they were seated in the first row, in seats 1B and 1C.
AirAsia flight QZ8501 departed Surabaya at 5.30am local time and was scheduled to land at Singapore’s Changi Airport at 8.30am local time
Chi-Wai Choi told The Sun his brother’s wife, Mei-Yi Wee, and son, Luca, five, had been waiting at Changi airport for the plane after arriving on an earlier flight. She was still there.
‘My brother had just started a new job in Indonesia and was travelling back to his wife’s family in Singapore,’ he said. ‘His wife is keeping us informed but there is no news at the moment.
‘We know it’s not looking great. We are prepared for that.’
Authorities earlier confirmed the nationalities of the passengers included one Briton, one Singaporean, one Malaysian, three South Koreans and 149 Indonesians.
It is believed the three South Koreans on the plane were Park Seong-beom, 37, his wife Lee Kyung-hwa, 36, and their 12-month daughter Park Yuna.
According to officials at Yeosu First Presbyterian Church, the couple had been sent to Indonesia as Christian missionaries and were travelling to Singapore to renew their visas.
There were also two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer on board, six of whom were from Indonesia and one from France.
The pilot of the plane has been named as Captain Iriyanto, while the co-pilot is believed to be Frenchman Remi Emmanual Plesel.
Mr Iriyanto’s nephew told Indonesian news outlet Detik.com today that his uncle, who is married with two young children, was ‘a very caring person’.