Malaysia Airlines Releases List of Passengers' Nationalities; 192 Were From Netherlands, Including 1 Dual Dutch-US Citizen

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By Anugrah Kumar , Christian Post Contributor
July 19, 2014|9:39 am
Malaysia airline (Photo: Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev)

Members of the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry carry a body near the wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region July 19, 2014. Ukraine accused Russia and pro-Moscow rebels on Saturday of destroying evidence of "international crimes" from the wreckage of the Malaysian airliner that Kiev says militants shot down with a missile, killing nearly 300 people.

Malaysia Airlines Saturday released the nationalities of the passengers on its flight MH 17, which fell from the sky over eastern Ukraine after being hit by a missile Thursday. While the nationalities of 41 victims remain unverified, the list includes just one dual Dutch-American citizen.

There were 192 people from the Netherlands – including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen – on the flight, the airline said in a statement Saturday morning.

A Ukrainian official had earlier said 23 Americans were aboard the flight MH 17.

The dual Dutch-U.S. citizen has been identified by the media as Quinn Lucas Schansman, who had moved to Amsterdam this year and was flying to Malaysia to join his family on holiday, according to his Facebook page.

Also aboard were 43 citizens of Malaysia; 27 from Australia; 12 from Indonesia; 10 from the United Kingdom; 4 each from Germany and Belgium; 3 from the Philippines; and one from Canada. The nationalities of 41 victims are still unverified, the airline said.

The airline is now focusing on working with the emergency responders and authorities and "mobilize its full support to provide all possible care to the next-of-kin."

The flight, with 298 people and crew aboard, crashed near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. The plane, Boeing 777, was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, and flying at about 33,000 feet when it was hit by a missile.

Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, whose 25-strong team is in Ukraine, told CNN that bodies of the passengers are "starting to partially decompose in the hot sun."

"It basically looks like one of the biggest, or the biggest, crime scenes in the world right now, guarded by a bunch of guys in uniform with heavy fire power, who are quite inhospitable," Bociurkiw was quoted as saying.

The region where the flight MH 17 crashed has been troubled by fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia militants seeking to declare the area an independent republic. Ukrainian authorities said this week that one of their military cargo planes and a military fighter jet had been downed in the area, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The United States has urged a ceasefire in the region so that investigators can reach the area and bodies can be recovered.

The U.S. envoy to the UN, Samantha Power, told an emergency session of the UN Security Council Friday that the jetliner was likely shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air system, which originated from inside territory controlled by separatists in eastern Ukraine with a possible involvement of Russian personnel.

"Because of the technical complexity of the SA-11 it is unlikely that the separatists could effectively operate the system without assistance from knowledgeable personnel, thus we cannot rule out technical assistance from Russian personnel in operating the system," The Independent quoted Power as telling the Council.

"If indeed Russian-backed separatists were behind this attack on a civilian airliner, they and their backers would have good reason to cover up evidence of their crime," she added. "Thus it is extremely important than an investigation be commenced immediately."

President Obama has called it a "global tragedy," but indicating that more concrete evidence about the intentions of those who shot down the plane is needed before any action is contemplated. "The eyes of the world are on eastern Ukraine and we are going to make sure that the truth is out," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government "have to make a strategic decision," Obama said. "It is not possible for these separatists to function the way they are functioning."

 

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