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Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: MH370 families shocked by latest tragedy

Published on Jul 18, 2014 1:07 PM
 
Malaysian Siti Dina weeps after seeing her daughter's name on the list of passengers on board Malaysia Airlines MH17 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on July 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - The grieving families of missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 have reacted emotionally to the news that another MAS plane has met with tragedy.

On their Weibo account, China's micro-blogging platform, they posted at 2am on Friday morning that while watching the news on TV that all on board MH17 had been killed after the plane was shot down over Ukraine airspace, some among them could not stop crying.

"We hope that the MH17 families remain strong," they wrote. "These non-stop aviation tragedies make us wonder, what has happened to aviation safety? Could it be that taking a flight now is like being on a rollercoaster ride and one must have one's heart in one's mouth?"

Earlier, they had posted that the confusing and contradictory information being spread about MH17 was like "the tragedy of MH370 happening all over again."

"We hope that all countries work together, not undermine one another; we hope that consistent information is given, not contradictory information."

Of the 239 passengers who were onboard MH370, which disappeared en route to Beijing in early March and whose wreckage has still not been located despite a long and costly multi-nation search operation, 153 were Chinese nationals.

Hundreds of their relatives remain incensed over the way that the Malaysian Airlines and the Malaysian Government handled the aftermath of that tragedy, revealing dribs and drabs of contradictory information and notifying them that their loved ones had perished via text message - a conclusion that was based on satellite analysis that has since been called into question.

The Chinese embassy in Malaysia said that there were no Chinese nationals on board MH17.

Online, Chinese netizens expressed relief that there were likely no Chinese nationals killed, but outrage at what many called "a blatant act of terror."

Malaysian Airlines' reputation has plummeted among average Chinese since the MH370 tragedy, but many online today sympathised with the airline as "an innocent bystander caught in someone else's conflict," as a micro-blogger named Qiangdi Youyang put it on Weibo.

Another named Liu Liu posted: "Who will ever dare to take a Malaysian Airlines flight again?"

rchang@sph.com.sg

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