MH17 Passenger Wearing Oxygen Mask May Have Been Conscious After Plane Was Hit

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

An Australian traveler on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 had an oxygen mask around his neck suggesting that he was conscious after the plane was struck by a missile, a Dutch prosecutor says.

Wim de Bruin, a spokesman for the agency investigating the July 17 crash, says the victim’s family has been notified of the mask but his name has not yet been released.

Investigators tested the mask “for fingerprints, saliva and DNA” but without any results, de Bruin said. The mask did fit that of a Boeing 777 plane.

De Bruin noted that none of the other victims was wearing an oxygen mask, BBC News reported.

This announcement comes after Holland's Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans apologized for recently revealing the fact that a victim was wearing an oxygen mask on live television.

During the same interview, Timmermans said he didn’t believe that passengers could have seen the missile before it detonated.

“No, they did not see the missile coming, but did you know that someone was found with an oxygen mask over his mouth?” he said. “So someone had the time to to do that.”

Dozens of concerned friends and relatives flooded the agency with phone calls to learn more about the passenger.

“I have an enormous amount of sympathy for the next-of-kin,” Timmermans later said. “The last thing I want to do is compound their suffering in this way.”

Sources: Daily Mail, BBC News

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Miikka H, Reuters / Daily Mail