Funerals held for band members killed in Indonesian tsunami

Agence France-Presse

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Funerals held for band members killed in Indonesian tsunami
The band's frontman is the only surviving member of the group which has released a half dozen albums and commands a large fan base in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Funerals were held Monday, December 24, for several members of an Indonesian pop band killed when a tsunami slammed into a stage where they were performing in an open-air concert.

Relatives of Muhammad Awal Purbani – bassist for the group Seventeen – sobbed and hugged each other at a service in Indonesia’s cultural capital Yogyakarta, including a 3-year-old daughter and his wife who was several months pregnant.

The group’s road manager Oki Wijaya, guitarist Herman Sikumbang and crew member Rukmana Rustam were also buried Monday in separate services in their hometowns.

Local media have reported that Wisnu Andi Darmawan, the band’s missing drummer, had been found dead Monday.

Seventeen’s frontman Riefian Fajarsyah – whose wife is still missing two days after the disaster –posted a picture of the band online and suggested that Darmawan had been killed.

That would leave Fajarsyah as the only surviving member of the group, which has released a half dozen albums and commands a large fan base in their native country.

“So long my beloved drummer Andi Seventeen, Allah loves you,” he wrote.

“Be at peace my friend. Endless prayers for you, Bani (bassist) and Eman (guitarist). 

“It’s been an honor and a pride to share a stage with you. We were not just work partners, we were family in life and death.”

A visibly distressed Fajarsyah told local broadcaster NET TV that was praying his wife would be found alive. 

“Please pray so Allah can give us a miracle.”

On Sunday, December 23, the band’s lead singer posted a picture online of he and his wife kissing in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

“Today is your birthday – I want wish you a happy birthday in person. Come home soon, honey,” he wrote in the caption of the photo.

The funerals were among dozens of services held across the country for some of at least 281 people killed by Saturday night’s disaster.

With no warning, the powerful tsunami swept over popular beaches on southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java and inundated tourist hotels and coastal settlements. (IN PHOTOS: Death and destruction in Indonesia)

The band was playing Saturday night, December 22, to a crowd at a company-sponsored event at the Tanjung Lesung Beach Resort on the western tip of Java when the wall of water hit.

Dramatic video posted online showed the tsunami smashing into the concert, hurling band members from the stage and slamming into the audience.

On the video, fans can be seen clapping and cheering before a wave rips under the stage, sending the band members and their equipment crashing into the men and women dancing at the front.

The shocking video then suddenly stops. –

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