A gaffe is too small of a word for this. Indonesia dropped the ball, left the court, and took up a whole different sporting activity when it comes to this mistake.

Monday afternoon, a Boeing 737-400 owned by an Indonesian airline went down an hour away from it’s destination of Manado.  On the way down, it managed to send out two distress calls.  Police and military groups rushed to find the plane in a desperate search for survivors.  On Tuesday, it appeared as though they had found the plane.  Both police and military officials called in saying that they had found the mass of the wreckage and they provided people with a description of the wreckage field.  They said that it was safe to assume that all 102 passengers of the plane had perished in the crash.

On Wednesday, however, senior transportation officials called for the search to resume and revealed that the original reports were untrue.  It turns out that the calls about the crash site had been based upon false rumors among the villagers, not upon any actual fact-based evidence.

Relatives and the general public are outraged at this confession of incompetence.  This is the second such instance of gross high-level inadequacy in only a few days.  Last week, a ferry carrying 600 passengers sank off the coast of Java and survivors still float out in the waters due to bad weather hampering the rescue efforts.

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