HeadLine: ANGEL OF JAKARTA
Daily Record, 19/05/1998, p1
by Shaun Milne
Heroine Claire Hatton has become the Angel of Jakarta to thousands of
Britons desperate to flee riot-ravaged Indonesia.
British Airways manager Claire, 26, has insisted on staying in the
midst of looting and anarchy in the capital city to make sure UK
families are flown to safety.
Her courage was underlined last night with the news two British men
have been murdered by robbers in Jakarta. Neither have been named.
So far, Claire has evacuated more than 2000 people while Robin Cook’s
Foreign Office does nothing. She is working round the clock and has had
only 19 hours sleep in six days.
The food riots sparked by Indonesia’s economic meltdown have claimed at
least 500 lives, and most western airlines and businesses have long
since left Jakarta.
But Claire pledged: “I will stay here for as long as I am needed and
there are people wanting to leave. There could be another 1500 Britons
“I’m not scared personally but I can understand why people want to get
“Thursday night was the worst. Roads were being torn up and we had to
sleep in the office.
“I got home to find looters had tried to get into my house. My staff
persuaded them to go away by telling them a local person lived there.
“I’ve moved into a hotel to be nearer the office. The rioting has come
within two blocks of us and people have been scared.
“At one stage I had to send some of my staff to the airport with
tickets. Their vehicle was stoned and they had to throw money at the
crowd to get away.”
For Claire’s parents Vic and Helen and soldier fiance Chris Redman, her
mission is a source of great pride but also great concern.
At the family home in Dorset, Helen said: “We are very proud but still
worried about her. That is why she rings every day to let us know she
is coping well.”
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