Eighty Children Killed in MH17 Crash
A total of 80 children were among the victims killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine.
The Daily Mail reports that the victims included a three and five-year-old from Indonesia who died with their parents, as well as three Australian children heading home with their grandfather.
The Australian children, Otis, Evie and Mo Maslin, aged eight to 12, were travelling with their grandfather, Nick Norris, 68. They had been on holiday in Amsterdam, where the children’s parents had stayed behind for an extra few days.
Mr Norris’s son, Brack, 24, paid tribute to his father, nephews and niece. He told MailOnline: “I’m a bit dizzy right now”.
An entire Indonesian family were also killed in the attack, including a five-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl.
Also reported to have died is 20-year-old British student Richard Mayne, who was on his way to spend a year in Australia. He leaves behind two brothers aged 24 and 19. His father said: “He was on his way to Perth. When we were looking at flights together, there was this one that stopped in Amsterdam and we thought it would be perfect.
“I took him to the airport at 3am myself, to fly to Amsterdam. When I first saw it on the news, my heart dropped. I just thought, oh god, oh god – I couldn't believe it. We were hoping and praying he had fallen asleep at Amsterdam and missed his flight.
“You think you've got problems and then something like this happens and it all just takes over. I can't even bring myself to look at a photograph of him. We are beyond devastated. It is such a beautiful sunny day but our lives have been torn apart.”
Another British student, Ben Pocock, was travelling on the flight to spend a year in Australia, having just graduated from Loughborough University.
The university paid tribute to him, with a spokesman saying: “We are incredibly saddened to hear that one of our students, Ben Pocock, was believed to be a passenger on flight MH17.
“Ben had just completed the second year of his international business BSc degree and was flying out to begin a professional placement and to study abroad at the University of Western Australia as part of his third year.
“Ben was an excellent student and on course to gain a first class degree. He was also a fine athlete, who played on the university athletic union's Ultimate Frisbee team and won their Player of the Year honour.”
Earlier today, it was reported that a large delegation of Aids researchers were on board the flight, on their way to an international conference in Australia. Also killed was former BBC journalist Glenn Thomas who worked for the World Health Organisation.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk used strong words earlier, calling for Western leaders to “support the Ukrainian government to bring to justice those b******* who committed this international crime.” He called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to be held, and for nations to do “everything we can to stop this war - a war against Ukraine, a war against Europe ... this is the war against the world.”