An Australian woman, still mourning the loss of her brother and sister-in-law who vanished with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, learned Friday that another family member was on the flight from the same airline recently shot down over Ukraine.
Kaylene Mann lost her brother, Rod Burrows, along with his wife, Mary Burrows, when Flight 370 disappeared in March. Last contacted by radar off the coast of Australia, the plane was never recovered.
Greg Burrows, Mann’s brother, told The Associated Press that Mann learned Friday that her stepdaughter, Marie Rizk, was on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. U.S. intelligence officials believe the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, killing all 298 aboard.
“It's just brought everyone, everything back,” Burrows said. “It's just ... ripped our guts again.”
He added his family was still trying to come to terms with suffering two devastating losses, so close together and involving the same airline.
Rizk and her husband, Albert Rizk, lived in Melbourne, Australia. They were returning home from a four-week vacation in Europe when their plane was shot down.
“They were very lovely people,” a close friend, Phil Lithgow, said. “You wouldn't hear a bad word about them — very generous with their time in the community, very community-minded, and just really very entertaining people to be with.”
They are survived by their son, James Rizk, who plays for the Sunbury Lions Football Club. Lithgow is president of the club and said both Albert and Marie Rizk were supporters of the team.
“We’re just in shock by it all because they’re such fabulous people and good members (of the community),” club vice president Jack Ogilvie told The Herald Sun. “The Sunbury Football Club, we’re a very strong community club and we’ll get behind the kids and (provide) anything they need.”
The team plans to wear black armbands and observe a minute of silence prior to their game Saturday, according to The Irrigator.
Burrows said he does not hold the airline responsible.
“Nobody could predict they were going to get shot down,” he said. “That was out of their hands.”
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