UK & World News
Check-In Staff Haunted By Memories Of MH17
A ground steward who checked passengers onto the doomed Malaysia Airlines plane has posted a moving tribute to them on Facebook.
Renuka Manisha Virangna Birbal wrote the message after the Boeing 777 was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.
In the note, which has been shared thousands of times, she describes grandmothers taking photos of their grandchildren, a newly married couple flying off on their honeymoon and a man who was about to start a new life in Malaysia.
She also mentioned a young girl with her mother, as well as colleagues from a ticket counter, boarding the flight at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.
"A beautiful little girl held by her mother, her father behind them pushing the stroller," she wrote.
"She is beautiful - half Dutch, half Malaysian, with beautiful big eyes. She smiled kindly at me.
"Suddenly I see a familiar face. It is our colleague from the MH ticket counter.
"He proudly shows me his son, wife and daughter. With a big smile he waved, 'See you soon.'"
Ms Birbal was one of the last people to see the passengers before they boarded flight MH17.
She described children waving and smiling at her and remembered one asking her mother: "When do we see our luggage again?"
She ended the message with: "The last time I saw them, talked to them and wished them a pleasant flight ... (I saw) one last smile, one last salute, a happy face.
"Rest in peace, dear passengers and crew. On behalf of the ground handling agents of flight MH17."