UK & World News

  • 18 July 2014, 10:48

UK Couple 'Shaken' After Missing Doomed Flight

A British family scheduled to fly on the downed Malaysia Airlines plane say they have a "second chance" at life after being forced to miss the flight because there were not enough seats.

Barry Sim, from Scotland, his wife Izzy, and the couple's young child were travelling to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport in a taxi on Thursday evening when they heard about the crash.

They had been due to catch flight MH17 to Malaysia earlier in the day, but were told they would have to switch to another plane.

Cradling her baby at the airport, Mrs Sim said: "I'm shaken. I don't even know what to do. I feel physically sick.

"I was coming from the Hilton (hotel) in The Hague to the airport in the taxi and I was just crying.

"I'm just thinking that I feel like I've been given a second chance, so hopefully we will get there (to Malaysia) safely and we will see my family again."

The couple told the Daily Telegraph they were forced to swap to a KLM flight bound for Kuala Lumpur as there were too few seats for them and their baby.

Mr Sim told the newspaper he also felt "sick" after hearing about his family's lucky escape, but added that he wanted to carry on with his life.

"In my mind lightning never strikes twice in the same place, so I am still philosophical that you get on the flight and you go about your life," Mr Sim told the newspaper.

Flight MH17 was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at an altitude of 33,000ft (10,000m) when contact was lost yesterday afternoon.

The plane crashed near the border with Russia. There were nine Britons among the 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board.

An adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry said the Boeing 777 had been hit by a Buk ground-to-air missile.

US intelligence has also concluded a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down, but it is not clear who is responsible for the tragedy.

Crash investigators have been given access to the site and journalists have been encouraged to take pictures, many of which are too graphic to show.

A video which has emerged of a massive fireball shooting into the air - the apparent moment the plane was blown out of the sky - features three men, reported to be pro-Russian rebels, talking about the explosion.

Before the flight set off from Amsterdam, a young Dutchman posted a picture of the jet on Facebook, writing: "If it should disappear, this is what it looks like."