154 Dutch citizens killed in Malaysian air crash: Official

Jul 18, 2014, 08:24 IST | IANS

Amsterdam: At least 154 Dutch citizens have been killed in the Malaysian passenger crash in the eastern part of Ukraine Thursday, the airlines' European head said.

Also read: Malaysia plane 'shot down' over Ukraine, 295 feared dead

Huib Gorte said that the victims include 154 Dutch passengers, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, 6 Britons, 4 Germans, 4 Belgians, 3 Philippines, one Canadian and 47 of yet unknown identities, Xinhua reported. No Indians were onboard.

The Malaysia Airlines MH17 passenger plane crashed Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border, with all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board reportedly having been killed. All 15 crew members are Malaysians.

Malaysian Airlines MH17 wreckage
A firefighter sprays water to extinguish a fire, on July 17, 2014, amongst the wreckages of the Malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. Pic/AFP

Jos Nijhuis, president and CEO of the Schiphol Airport Group, said: "We sympathize with the families who have been affected. We will do everything in our power to accommodate and support them as well as possible and support."

The Malaysian ambassador in the Netherlands, Fauziah Mohamad Taib, also was present at the press conference. "My condolences are especially to the Dutch citizens and also to the other nationalities," she said.

"The embassy will be open 24 hours, in case there are questions that you might want to ask." Earlier, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Thursday that dozens of his country's nationals might have been killed in the Malaysian plane crash.

"This might be the biggest air disaster in Dutch history," he added. "The beautiful summer day ends in the worst possible way. It is dramatic news I can hardly believe it," Rutte said at the Schiphol Airport Thursday night.

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