UK & World News

  • 22 July 2014, 18:21

MH17: Families And Futures 'Ruined' By Crash

The girlfriend of one of the Britons killed when flight MH17 was shot down has spoken of the "happy memories" of their time together, adding: "I just wish there could be future ones too."

Abby Clark's boyfriend Richard Mayne, a Leeds University student, died along with 297 others when the Malaysia Airlines plane came down in Ukraine last week.

Hundreds of people moved by his death have donated money to an online fundraising page for disadvantaged children, which the 20-year-old set up for a charity trek to Everest base camp earlier this year.

In an emotional Facebook post, Ms Clark, from Leicester, said: "I honestly can't believe what has happened and what I am writing. Sleep tight, Richard.

"Not only were you my boyfriend for five years, you were so much more.

"You are my best friend, my rock and I don't know what to do without you now.

"Reading through everyone's messages to you makes me feel so proud to have been in your life. You have so many people in awe of you, including myself.

"I just keep feeling like you're going to walk in the kitchen and everything (will get) back to normal.

"I need you so bad right now, baby. I have so many happy memories of us that will stay with me forever.

"I just wish more than anything there could be future ones too.

"I love you (and I) always will."

Ms Clark's grief was shared by the father of Elsemiek de Borst, one of 192 Dutch passengers who were on board the downed Boeing 777.

In an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin that has been widely shared online, Hans de Borst wrote: "Thank you, Mr Putin, separatist leaders or the Ukrainian government, for murdering my loved and only child.

"I hope you're proud to have shot her and that you can look at yourself in the mirror."

He signs the letter as "Elsemiek's father, whose life is ruined".

The bodies of many of those killed in last week's crash have been taken by train to the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, where they will handed over to Dutch officials.

They will then be flown to the Netherlands, where relatives have gathered, desperate to lay their loved ones to rest.

Allegations of looting at the crash site in Grabovo, where victims' wallets and purses have reportedly been emptied, will have added to the families' distress.

Sky News correspondents at the scene said they had seen no proof of rebels rifling through passengers' belongings.

But Anton Geraschchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian minister of internal affairs, said: "Death hunters are collecting not only the cash and jewellery of the victims but also their credit cards.

"They might try to use them in Ukraine or pass them on to Russia, and my humble request to the relatives of the victims is to freeze their cards, so they won't lose their assets to terrorists."

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