Two days after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, more information about the victims on board the doomed plane is surfacing. The most heartbreaking part of this tale is the many children who perished when the airliner was hit by a ground-to-air missile launched from somewhere inside the troubled Ukrainian region.
According to initial reports, some 80 children were among the innocent victims killed in Thursday’s tragedy, including three siblings, who were traveling with their grandfather. Mo, 12, Otis, 8, and Evie Norris, 10, died along with Nick Morris, 68, as they traveled home to Perth, Australia.
Family members said that Nick joked about how eerie it was to be boarding a Malaysia Airlines flight, considering MH370 disappeared in March, never to be found again. The parents, Rin Norris and Anthony Maslin, stayed in Amsterdam to enjoy some time without the children.
— RightWingWatch Fan (@RWwatchMA) July 19, 2014
“Anything that leads to innocent children being shot out of the sky is not where we should be heading,” Natalia Gemmell, the children’s Australian aunt told the Perth Now news site.
Gemmell — who is grateful she told her father “I love you” one last time — remembers Nick as “a great man” and her nieces and nephews as “gentle, clever, beautiful kids.” She spoke to the MH17 victim just before the plane took off.
Some of the victims boarded flight MH17 by chance at the last minute. Thanks to them, a British family escaped certain death when they agreed to switch off their flight since MH17 was overbooked. One of the flight attendants switched her shift, only to meet the tragic fate.
One of the most disturbing accounts comes from a family that had loved ones in the still unresolved disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Incredibly, another family member became a victim of MH17.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 18, 2014
Another victim of MH17 reportedly felt “nervous” about boarding the plane moments before and shared a video on Instagram expressing his concerns. He went ahead, dismissing his fears. A friend later shared the footage and was shocked to learn that he had gone ahead with his original plans.
University of Indiana student Karlijn Keijzer, 25, another young victim of MH17, was a star member of the rowing team and had just finished her fourth year at IU. Volunteer and world traveler Tessa van der Sande was taking a break from her humanitarian work to spend time with family in Indonesia, when she became a victim of MH17.
— Tubantia (@tubantia) July 19, 2014
Humans were not the only victims in the unspeakable MH17 tragedy. Some family pets perished in the crash — which has been blamed on pro-Russian separatists, supported by Vladimir Putin, who control the region — two dogs and nine birds were also killed. According to the cargo manifesto — released on Friday — a black and white English shepherd named Quinta died along with the birds.
[Image via Twitter]