THE HAGUE: A total of 192 Dutch citizens died during the MH17 plane crash in eastern Ukraine, which has put the country in shock and in mourning on Friday.
Three of the last four passengers who had not yet been established, had the Dutch nationality, Malaysia Airlines stated on Friday. Confusion arose while determining the last nationalities, because two of them had a dual citizenship.
A passenger had both a Dutch and an American passport, the other was British and South African. Malaysia Airlines has included them as, respectively, Dutch and British on the list of victims.
The complete nationality list according to Malaysia Airlines of flight MH17, total 298 people: the Netherlands (192), Malaysia (44), Australia (27), Indonesia (12), Britain (10), Belgium (4), Germany (4), the Philippines (3) Canada (1), New Zealand (1).
The Netherlands was hit hard by the air disaster and the country is in mourning. Early on Friday Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave the instruction for flags at half-mast at all main buildings of the central government to mourn the victims. In addition, the prime minister requested municipalities, provinces and Dutch diplomatic missions abroad to act accordingly.
The instruction by Rutte was not only followed by government institutions, but also by many other people. Flags were half-mast at ordinary houses as well. All over the country people are missing family, friends, colleagues, members of sports clubs, classmates, teachers and more. People in cities, villages, streets miss their loves ones.
Dutch senator Willem Witteveen was killed in the crash. He died along with his wife and daughter and left a son. AIDS researcher Joep Lange was on the plane. Lange was on his way to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
On Friday, Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten opened a condolence registry in The Hague. Rutte and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were among the first to sign.
“Many thousands of people in our country and abroad mourn the loss of family, friends, colleagues, classmates and acquaintances,” wrote the King. “In our mind we are with them and with all those affected.”
In Terminal 3 of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, a condolence place was set up where people could lay flowers and notes for the victims of the plane crash in Ukraine. The passengers on board of the plane left from this hall.
It was a weird scene at the airport, with people flying away for their holidays, even to Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines. The Dutch are mourning, but life goes on as well. PNA