Woman loses another relative in another Malaysia Airlines disaster

AP

In an almost incomprehensible twist of fate, an Australian woman who lost her brother in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 learned Friday that her stepdaughter was on the plane shot down over Ukraine.

Kaylene Mann’s brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on board Flight 370 when it vanished in March. On Friday, Mann found out that her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed along with 297 others on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which U.S. intelligence authorities believe was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

“It’s just brought everyone, everything back,” said Greg Burrows, Mann’s brother. “It’s just . . . ripped our guts again.”

Burrows said his family is struggling to understand how they could be struck by such horrible luck on two separate occasions with the same airline.

“She just lost a brother and now a stepdaughter, so . . . ” he said of his sister, his voice trailing off.

Rizk and her husband Albert, of Melbourne, were returning home from a four-week holiday in Europe, said Phil Lithgow, president of the Sunbury Football Club, with which the family was heavily involved.

Albert, a real estate agent, was a member of the club’s committee, Maree was a volunteer in the canteen and their son, James, plays on the club’s team.

“They were very lovely people,” 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.”

The club members plan to wear black armbands and observe a minute of silence to honor the Rizks at their game on Saturday, Lithgow said.

Despite the twin tragedies, Burrows said he holds nothing against Malaysia Airlines.

“Nobody could predict they were going to get shot down,” he said. “That was out of their hands.”

  • Jamie Bakeridge

    MH17 is only the 8th most important story in the JT. Every other media outlet in the world is leading with it. For goodness sake what is going on JT?