Downed Jet Claimed Victims From 11 Countries

The human cost of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 hit home around the world Friday, upending scores of families and small communities spanning half of the planet, from a Dutch fishing village to an Australian soccer club and a Dubai cake store.

Relatives and colleagues paid emotional tribute to the dead. Students gathered to pray for lost friends, and even Tour de France cyclists paused for a moment's silence in memory of the 298 people killed in Ukraine.

The victims came from 11 countries and all walks of life. They included an acclaimed AIDS researcher from Amsterdam, a nun and teacher from Sydney, a Dutch senator and a World Health Organization spokesman.

"Today, the stories are emerging about individual travelers," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. "Youngsters, a big group of scientists, sometimes whole families who yesterday afternoon got on board and unknowingly headed toward their hopeless fate."

Because the plane took off from Amsterdam, most were Dutch headed for Kuala Lumpur. But others were from elsewhere in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. One was a dual U.S.-Dutch citizen, Malaysia Airlines said.

They left behind relatives searching for answers and clinging to memories.

"It's a black day," said Ron Peter Pabellon, a Filipino cake maker in Dubai who fears he lost an aunt, uncle and two cousins, one of them his best friend. "I want to see (them) with my own eyes because I don't want to accept. I don't want to believe."

The crash heaped tragedy upon tragedy for one Australian family that also had relatives aboard the Malaysian Airlines plane that vanished in March.

Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on Flight 370, which is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean but has never been found. On Friday, Mann learned that her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed on Flight 17.

"It's just brought everyone, everything back," said Greg Burrows, Mann's brother. "It's just ... ripped our guts again."

Several passengers on Flight 17 were traveling to Melbourne, Australia, for a major international AIDS conference.

The United Nations organization UNAIDS said the crash claimed "some of the finest academics, health care workers and activists" working on the disease.

The Academic Medical Center hospital in Amsterdam said two of its staff members, including renowned AIDS researcher Joep Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society, and his colleague Jacqueline van Tongeren were believed to have perished.

"Joep was a man who knew no barriers," the hospital said. "He was a great inspiration for everybody who wanted to do something about the AIDS tragedy in Africa and Asia."

Karlijn Keijzer, a 25-year-old Dutch graduate student at Indiana University, was mourned by rowing communities on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Amsterdam student rowing club Skoll said on its website that Keijzer died with another rower from the club, Laurens van der Graaff, on their way to a vacation together.

In the close-knit fishing village of Volendam, near the Dutch capital, flowers were laid outside a florist's shop. The shop's owner and her boyfriend were among the victims.

A handwritten note taped to the storefront above a bunch of orange roses, read: "Dear Cor and Neeltje. This is unwanted, unbelievable and unfair. Rest in peace. We will never forget you."

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