Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 19th 2014 Contents A27
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SYDNEY---In an almost incomprehensible
twist of fate, an Australian woman who lost
her brother in the disappearance of
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 learned
yesterday that her stepdaughter was on the
plane shot down over Ukraine.
Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and
sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on board
Flight 370 when it vanished in March.
Yesterday, Mann found out that her
stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed along
with 297 others on Malaysia Airlines Flight
"It's just brought everyone, everything
back," said Greg Burrows, Mann's brother.
"It's just ... ripped our guts again."
Burrows said his family was struggling to
understand how they could be struck by
such horrible luck on two separate
occasions with the same airline.
"She just lost a brother and now a
stepdaughter, so..." he said of his sister, his
voice trailing off.
Rizk and her husband Albert, of
Melbourne, were returning home from a
four-week holiday in Europe.
Despite the twin tragedies, Burrows said
he holds nothing against Malaysia Airlines.
"Nobody could predict they were going to
get shot down," he said. "That was out of
their hands." (AP)
KIEV---Social media posts by pro-
Russian insurgents---most of them
hastily removed---suggest the rebels
thought they had shot down a Ukrain-
ian army plane before realising in hor-
ror that it was in fact a packed
The Twitter and blog messages were
immediately publicised by top Kiev offi-
cials in their furious information war
with the Kremlin for global opinion and
the hearts and minds of ethnic Russians
caught in the worst East-West crisis
since the Cold War.
Confirmation of separatist fighters
killing 298 passengers and crew on a
flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur
would further complicate Russian Pres-
ident Vladimir Putin s efforts to paint
their uprising as a fight for self-deter-
The rebels first claimed to have
downed at least one Ukrainian army
plane over the strife-torn eastern rustbelt
on late Thursday afternoon.
The VK social networking page of
Igor Strelkov---"defence minister" of the
self-proclaimed Donetsk People s Repub-
lic---first announced: "We just downed
an An-26 near (the town of) Torez."
"And here is a video confirming that
a bird fell ," said the post.
The Web site then provides a link
identical to that published by Ukrainian
media in reports about the Malaysia
The video shows locals referring to
the same coal mine in the region men-
tioned by Strelkov.
The strongly pro-Kiev Ukrainska
Pravda news site later posted an audio
recording of what it claimed were the
intercepted field communications
between rebels and a Russian agent dis-
cussing the downing.
"We just downed a plane," a rebel the
recording identifies as Bes (Demon) tells
an alleged Russian military intelligency
Another recording shows one alleged
fighter reporting from the site of the
plane s remains that it was "100 per
cent certain this is a civilian aircraft."
He spits out a Russian expletive when
asked whether there were a lot of pas-
sengers on board. (AFP)
THE HAGUE---A young Dutchman
apparently posted a picture of the
downed Malaysian airliner on Face-
book minutes before he boarded it,
writing: "If it should disappear, this
is what it looks like."
Cor Pan, who appeared to be going
on a beach holiday to Malaysia, posted
the photo as a joking reference to
another Malaysia Airlines flight that
mysteriously disappeared over the Indi-
an Ocean in March.
A few hours later his flight too would
disappear from radar screens, taking
him and the other 297 people on board
the Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur flight
to their deaths in eastern Ukraine.
Although there has been no confir-
mation that Cor, from Volendam, Ams-
terdam, was on board, his photo of the
aircraft on the tarmac is tagged "near
Schipol airport" and appears to have
been taken from the gate as passengers
waited to board.
The comments by his friends on
Facebook, however, seem to indicate
that he was on board the flight. Late
on Thursday his picture had been
shared more than 10,000 times on the
social media site.
Cor had earlier posted pictures of
idyllic tropical beaches on his Facebook
page, saying: "A few more days to wait
police officers and even off-duty
coal miners---dressed in overalls
and covered in soot---spread out
yesterday across the sunflower
fields and villages of eastern
Ukraine, searching the wreckage
of the Malaysian plane shot down
as it flew miles above the coun-
try s battlefield.
The attack Thursday afternoon
killed 298 people from nearly a
dozen nations and left enormous
US intelligence authorities said
a surface-to-air missile brought
down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala
Lumpur, but could not say who
fired it. The Ukraine government
in Kiev, the separatist pro-Russia
rebels they are fighting in the east
and the Russia government that
Ukraine accuses of supporting the
rebels all deny shooting the pas-
senger plane down. Moscow also
denies backing the rebels.
By midday, 181 bodies had been
located, according to emergency
workers at the sprawling crash site.
Ukraine has called for an inter-
national probe to determine who
attacked the plane and the Unites
States has offered to help. But
access to the site remained difficult
The road from Donetsk, the
largest city in the region, to the
crash site was marked by five rebel
checkpoints yesterday, with doc-
ument checks at each.
Separatist rebels who control
the crash say they have recovered
most of its black boxes and were
considering what to do with them.
Their statement had profound
implications for the integrity of
the plane crash investigation.
An angry Australian Prime Min-
ister Tony Abbott demanded an
independent inquiry into the
"This is not an accident, it s a
crime," he added.
For his part, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed
Kiev s accusations that Moscow
could be behind the attack.
The crash site was spread out
over fields between two villages in
eastern Ukraine. In the sunflower
fields around Rozsypne, 25 miles
from the Russian border, lines of
men disappeared into the thick,
tall growth that was over their
heads. One fainted after finding a
body. Another body was covered
in a coat.
In Hrabove, several miles away,
huge numbers of simple sticks,
some made from tree branches,
were affixed with red or white rags
to mark spots where body parts
Ukraine Foreign Ministry rep-
resentative Andriy Sybiga said 181
bodies had been found
Large chunks of the Boeing 777
that bore the airline s red, white
and blue markings lay strewn over
one field. The cockpit and one
turbine lay a half-mile apart, and
residents said the tail landed
another six miles away. (AP)
181 bodies found
at plane site
Woman loses relatives in two Malaysia air disasters
Deleted posts suggest rebels
downed Malaysian jet in error
A photo of the ill-fated Malaysian airliner taken by passenger Cor Pan (inset) as
it sits on the tarmac before takeoff. AP PHOTO
Passenger posted joke about plane
disappearing as he boarded jet
A woman walks past a body covered with a plastic sheet near the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines
passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne, Ukraine, eastern Ukraine yesterday. Rescue workers, policemen
and even off-duty coal miners were combing a sprawling area in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border
where the Malaysian plane ended up in burning pieces Thursday, killing all 298 aboard. AP PHOTO
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