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Air crash in Indonesia

March 8th, 2007

Condolences to those who have lost family members and friends in the air crash in Indonesia yesterday. Of those killed or missing the only one whose name is known to me was Morgan Mellish, Jakarta correspondent for the Australian Financial Review, but others who died were serving our country, and of course any loss of life is a tragedy for the family concerned.

This is also a good time to think about the routine and preventable loss of life and limb on our roads, and about the far larger loss of life caused by poverty and disease around the world. As well as sharing the grief surrounding this tragic event we should act to ensure that such things become less common.

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  1. John
    March 8th, 2007 at 20:32 | #1

    Couldn’t agree more. I met Morgan Mellish a number of years ago and certainly offer condolences to his family and the families of the others involved.
    However, as you say, the world is full of tragedy and our responses seem totally out of proportion. Every day, approximately 30,000 children die of preventable disease or malnutrition. If we only we felt the same sense of loss for them.
    I would be interested in people’s thoughts as to what makes some tragedies big issues while others barely rate a mention.

  2. pablo
    March 8th, 2007 at 22:21 | #2

    This terrible accident does seem to be getting additional media attention probably because of the rank and profession of the survivors and the dead. Contrast it to the 15 killed in I believe, our worst commercial air accident at Lochhart River, far North Queensland in 2005? Or the estimated 600 000 dead and four million refugees from post 2003 Iraq. Shock and awe indeed.

  3. March 9th, 2007 at 02:16 | #3

    Commercial Airline accidents always make the news because the average person feels so helpless about it.

    Obviously many thousands of times more people are killed driving each year, but most people feel that they are in control of their own destiny while driving their car – regardless of the fact that they are much more likely to be killed.

    The same thing goes for disease – most people find it hard to understand death by malnutrition when food is always an arm’s length away.

    But when you are in a commercial airliner, your fate is entirely at the hands of the gods and the pilots (who you rarely even see). So it’s understandable why people are so nervous about it.

    That said though, Garuda have a really terrible safety record.

  4. Spiros
    March 9th, 2007 at 10:39 | #4

    Said John Howard this morning

    “I think it’s just a reminder that life is very unpredictable and when something like this happens it puts other things into their trivial perspective.”

    So true.

    Something to think about the next time we (as a nation) hyperventilate about who had lunch with Brian Burke, or whatever.

  5. March 11th, 2007 at 23:48 | #5

    Yeah, because the fact that a plane crashed means that corrupt politicians are a non-issue.

  6. Paul Walter
    March 17th, 2007 at 12:06 | #6

    I had a friend most upset at the vulgar treatment by media of the tragic Cynthia Banham, who was filmed intrusively in voyeuristic fashion as she lay unconscious, half-naked and burnt to a crisp, before she had her legs amputated.

  7. Spiros
    March 20th, 2007 at 17:30 | #7

    “Yeah, because the fact that a plane crashed means that corrupt politicians are a non-issue.”

    On reflection, I agree with you Yobbo.

    So whaddya reckon about Santo Santoro?

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