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Downed jet claims victims from 12 countries

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The human cost of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 hit home around the world Friday, upending scores of families and small communities spanning half of the planet, from a Dutch fishing village to a Dubai cake store.

Relatives and colleagues paid emotional tribute to the dead. Students gathered to pray for lost friends, and even Tour de France cyclists paused for a moment's silence in memory of the 298 people killed in Ukraine.

The victims came from at least 12 countries and all walks of life. They included an acclaimed AIDS researcher from Amsterdam; a nun and teacher from Sydney, Australia; a Dutch senator; and a World Health Organization spokesman.

Because the plane took off from Amsterdam, most were Dutch headed for Kuala Lumpur. But others were from elsewhere in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Quinn Lucas Schansman was a dual U.S.-Dutch citizen, according to Malaysia Airlines.

Karlijn Keijzer, a 25-year-old Dutch graduate student at Indiana University, was mourned by rowing communities on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Amsterdam student rowing club Skoll said on its website that Keijzer died with another rower from the club, Laurens van der Graaff, on their way to a vacation together.

They left behind relatives searching for answers and clinging to memories.

"It's a black day," said Ron Peter Pabellon, a Filipino cakemaker in Dubai who fears he lost an aunt, uncle and two cousins, one of them his best friend. "I want to see (them) with my own eyes because I don't want to accept. I don't want to believe."

The crash heaped tragedy upon tragedy for one Australian family that also had relatives aboard the Malaysian Airlines plane that vanished in March.

Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on Flight 370, which is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean but has never been found. On Friday, Mann learned that her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed on Flight 17.

"It's just brought everyone, everything back," said Greg Burrows, Mann's brother. "It's just … ripped our guts again."

Several passengers on Flight 17 were traveling to Melbourne, Australia, for a major international AIDS conference.

In the close-knit fishing village of Volendam, near the Dutch capital, flowers were laid outside a florist's shop. The shop's owner and her boyfriend were among the victims.

A handwritten note taped to the storefront above a bunch of orange roses, read: "Dear Cor and Neeltje. This is unwanted, unbelievable and unfair. Rest in peace. We will never forget you."

Most passengers were Dutch

The Malaysia Airlines plane shot down over Ukraine on Thursday was carrying 298 passengers and crew. They hailed from 12 countries, though it wasn't clear how many had dual nationalities (which may explain why the numbers do not add up to 298); Malaysia Airlines said one was a dual U.S.-Dutch citizen. The airline and relevant governments gave these figures:

Netherlands: 192

Malaysia: 44 (including 15 crew and two infants)

Australia: 28

Indonesia: 12 (including one infant)

United Kingdom: 10

Germany: 4

Belgium: 4

Vietnam: 3

Philippines: 3

United States: 1

Canada: 1

New Zealand: 1

Hong Kong: 1

Associated Press

Downed jet claims victims from 12 countries 07/18/14 [Last modified: Saturday, July 19, 2014 12:48am]
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