Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Malaysia Airlines crash: Scottish family turned away from flight MH17 speak of their incredible escape

A pro-Russian fighter holds up a toy found among the debris at the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines jet near the village of Hrabove, Friday, July 18, 2014. Emergency workers, police officers and even off-duty coal miners spread out Friday across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines jet shot down as it flew high above the country's battlefield. The attack Thursday afternoon killed 298 people from nearly a dozen nations. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
A pro-Russian fighter holds up a toy found among the debris at the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines jet near the village of Hrabove, Friday, July 18, 2014. Emergency workers, police officers and even off-duty coal miners spread out Friday across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines jet shot down as it flew high above the country's battlefield. The attack Thursday afternoon killed 298 people from nearly a dozen nations. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
People arrange candles to offer prayers for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17,  at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, July 18, 2014. The Malaysia Airlines jetliner was carrying 298 people when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday in eastern Ukraine, sending shockwaves around the world from Malaysia to the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
People arrange candles to offer prayers for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, July 18, 2014. The Malaysia Airlines jetliner was carrying 298 people when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday in eastern Ukraine, sending shockwaves around the world from Malaysia to the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
Donetsk People's Republic fighters fill their tank with fuel at a gas station in Snizhne, 100 kilometers east of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Donetsk People's Republic fighters fill their tank with fuel at a gas station in Snizhne, 100 kilometers east of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

A Scottish family have said they believed someone was “watching over them” when a twist of fate stopped them boarding the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Barry and Izzy Sim tried to board the plane from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday with their baby son but they were turned away because only one seat was available.

The dejected family booked on to an alternative KLM flight with no idea of their incredible escape.

After hearing of the crash, Mr Sim told the BBC: “You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going.”

Mr Sim, reportedly from Methlick in Aberdeenshire, said he was “philosophical” about continuing to “go about your life” and believed they should take the KLM flight as planned despite his wife's misgivings.

“In my mind, lightning never strikes twice in the same place so I am still philosophical that you get on the flight and you go about your life,” he said.

“I know my wife doesn't feel like that. Probably the last thing she wants to do now is fly, especially to Kuala Lumpur.”

Mrs Sim said she and her family were “very loyal” to Malaysia Airlines, which was still struggling to recover from the disappearance of MH370 in March before the latest tragedy.

“There must have been someone watching over us and saying 'You must not get on that flight',” she told the BBC.

"At this moment we are so glad to be on that KLM flight rather than that Malaysia Airlines flight."

Other people on board were not so lucky and at least one crew member was believed to have been moved on to the flight at the last minute.

Sanjid Singh, an air steward, was only on the doomed jet because he agreed to a rota swap, the Malaysian Insider reported.

It said that in a "bizarre twist of fate" Mr Singh's wife escaped death on flight MH370 131 days ago because she too organised a shift change.

Nine Britons, 154 Dutch, 27 Australians, 38 Malaysians, 23 US citizens and 80 children were among those on board Boeing 777-200 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

None of the 298 and crew survived the crash, near the town of Grabovo in eastern Ukraine, which has seen fierce fighting between separatist militias and government troops.

Both pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian government denied shooting the aircraft down after US authorities said intelligence analysis showed it had been hit by a surface-to-air missile.

Source: Independent

Family hit by second Malaysia Airlines tragedy

An Australian woman who lost her brother in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has learned that her stepdaughter was on the Malaysia Airlines flight shot down over Ukraine.

Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on Flight 370 when it vanished in March. On Friday, she found out that her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed on board Flight 17 when it crashed in Ukraine.

Ms Mann's other brother Greg Burrows said news of the second tragedy to hit the family has "ripped our guts again".

Ms Rizk and her husband Albert were returning home to Melbourne from a four-week European holiday.

Further reading:

Malaysia Airlines crash: 295 passengers killed as Amsterdam flight MH17 'shot down' at Ukraine-Russia border 

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 Ukraine crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 US citizens and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet 'shot down' 

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz