MH370 families offer support to MH17 victims’ kin

Jacquita Gonzalez (pic), the wife of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) steward Patrick Francis Gomez whose plane disappeared last March 8 offers her support to the grieving MH17 victims’ families. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Jacquita Gonzalez (pic), the wife of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) steward Patrick Francis Gomez whose plane disappeared last March 8 offers her support to the grieving MH17 victims’ families. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 ― In empathy, the families of Flight MH370 have reached out to offer their support and counsel to the families of Flight MH17, a British daily reported.

Jacquita Gonzalez, the wife of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) steward Patrick Francis Gomez whose plane disappeared last March 8, told The Guardian yesterday that “no one deserves to go through” what the MH17 victims’ families are experiencing now.

“Right now they are like we were in the beginning: quiet and wanting their space. But we are here for them, we actually know what they’re going through, we know this is so painful, so hard,” Gonzalez, whose husband was on the still missing Flight MH370, was quoted saying.

Four months after losing Flight MH370, MAS lost a second Boeing 777 carrying 298 people on July 17 when the plane was downed over wartorn Ukraine.

The bulk of the remains of the passengers and crew have been recovered and sent to the Netherlands, but investigators are carrying out the painstaking task of identifying the victims using DNA samples of their family members.

The MH17 crash site in the Ukraine, held by pro-Russia rebels and where fighting has resumed, is hampering further investigations, according to officials from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Murphy Govind, brother of Flight MH17 stewardess Angeline Premila Rajandran, expressed sadness that the bodies would not be sent back to Malaysia before Hari Raya Puasa but said that there was nothing that they could do.

“As long as the Dutch people are doing their job identifying the bodies, we just hope that they can do it as soon as possible,” he was quoted saying by The Guardian in the same report yesterday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has cautioned it may take “weeks or months” before the remains of the 43 Malaysians on board Flight MH17 could be returned, citing protracted forensic investigations.

While the return and subsequent burial of MH17 victims is expected to help bring closure for their families, the families of those on board the missing MH370 are still facing the unresolved mystery months later.

“I’m glad that MH17 is being settled and at least they have the remains coming back, they know where the plane is ― now it’s about who’s at fault and who did that.

“But we are still in limbo, we don’t know anything because we haven’t heard anything about MH370...We also want closure, we want to know what happened,” Gonzalez was quoted saying in The Guardian report.

On March 8, the Beijing-bound Flight MH370 disappeared carrying 239 people.

A multi-nation team searching for the missing plane has been scouring the southern Indian Ocean where satellite data showed it to have ended its journey, to no success.

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