Today, Malaysia Airlines released a full list of the crew members and passengers who were on flight MH17 when it was shot down by a missile over Ukraine.
Malaysia Airlines has contacted many foreign embassies to establish contact with the next of kin of the families that were killed on the flight. A spokesperson for Malaysia Airlines stated that they are evaluating the security over Ukraine and are considering flying the families of the victims over. The passenger manifest include the names and nationalities of the passengers and Malaysia Airlines is encouraging families of the victims to call them.
The casualties from the crash show a majority of passengers from the Netherlands with 298 total fatalities. The full passenger manifest can be seen here.
The Liow Tiong Lai the Minister of Transport has stated that:
"Malaysia mourns the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. We feel for their families. And we promise to do all we can to ensure that the investigation is completed, and that justice is done."
Lai continued to say that flight MH17 did not enter restricted airspace above Ukraine and that multiple flights followed that same flight path over eastern Ukraine before. Lai cited Wall Street Journal reports as proof of commercial flights following that flight path:
According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH17.
It seems that the pilots of flight MH17 followed the rules but on the ground the rules were broken by firing at flight MH17.
Police from the Netherlands have sent out over 40 detectives to find forensic details on the victims of the crash. They are trying to build a database so that families of the victims will be able to easily identify bodies.
The European Union Police are also working with other agencies to help identify victims of the flight. The director of the European Union Police Rob Wainwright stated, "We will do our utmost to support the work that must be done following this horrific incident, where hundreds of families and friends to the innocent victims on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 are grieving and left with unanswered questions."
It's a good thing that Malaysia Airlines has released the passenger manifest. Hopefully the passenger manifest will help in finding family members of the victims.
Everyone around the globe is clearly shocked by what happened to flight MH17. Liow Tiong Lai said in his concluding remarks that:
"This outrage cannot go unpunished. Once again, Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay."
[Image via Reuters]