Kaylene Mann with brother Rod Burrows’s son Jayden. (AP file picture)
Sydney, July 18: An Australian woman whose brother and sister-in-law died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH-370 vanished in March has lost her stepdaughter and stepdaughter’s husband, who were on board the second Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed in Ukraine.
Kaylene Mann of Brisbane was too distraught to speak publicly today and requested privacy to deal with her latest loss. Mann was the sister of Rod Burrows, who died along with his wife Mary on Flight MH-370, which disappeared over the southern Indian Ocean on March 8.
Both of the doomed planes were identical long-range Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 ER twinjets.
Mann’s stepdaughter Marie Rizk and her stepdaughter’s husband Albert Rizk, a Melbourne real estate agent, were returning from a European holiday.
The Australian government has confirmed that 28 Australians were on board flight MH-17 including a well-known Sydney Catholic nun, two doctors and holidaying families.
Nick Norris, from Perth, and three of his grandchildren were among the seven west Australians on the flight.
While authorities are yet to confirm the names of all those on board, Australian media were reporting that Norris’s family — including his wife in Perth — had been informed of his death and those of his grandchildren, who were believed to be aged eight, 10 and 12.
“We grieve for all but we particularly grieve for and pray for the Australians who have lost their lives,” a sombre Prime Minister told a media conference today.
Tony Abbott, who appeared angry, said: “I want to say to the Australian people that as far as I am concerned when you have a situation where Russian-backed rebels appear to have killed Australians using, it may well turn out to be Russian-supplied heavy weaponry, Australia takes a very dim view indeed and we want the fullest possible investigation.”
He said the Australian government had summoned the Russian ambassador and demanded an assurance that Russia would fully co-operate with an investigation into the downing of flight MH-17 carrying 298 passengers and crew.
“I have to tell you that the initial response of the Russian ambassador was to blame Ukraine for this and I have to say that is deeply, deeply unsatisfactory,” said Abbott.
A friend, of the Rizk family, Jack Ogilvie, said yesterday had he had been looking after the Rizks’ son while his parents were holidaying in Europe. “I am in shock,” said Ogilvie. He said the couple left behind two children.
‘Sorry’ for families
A man who had planned on flying on the MH-17 has spoken of his shock upon hearing that it had gone down.
Barry Sim and his wife Izzy had intended to fly to Kuala Lumpur on the Malaysia Airlines flight but changed to a later flight at the last minute. “I just feel sorry for all the families,” Barry said.