Professor Francoise Barr-Sinousi addresses the National Press Club with words of grief and loss over colleague and HIV expert Joep Lange, amongst hundreds dead in the crash of flight MH17.
Evidence is growing that a surface-to-air missile brought down a Malaysia Airlines flight that has crashed in Ukraine killing all on board.
Confirmed to be on flight ... Albert Rizk (left) and wife Marie (third from left). Source: Supplied
A TEACHER in a remote Northern Territory community is among the latest Australians named as a victim in the MH17 tragedy.
Emma Bell, aged in her 20s, had moved to the Maningrida community, 500kms east of Darwin last year, from her home town of Lithgow in the Blue Mountains.
She was returning from holiday to start the new school term when she was killed on Flight MH17.
Maningrida teacher Emma Bell. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook
THREE PASSENGERS FROM NORTHERN TERRITORY
Bell, along with a public servant and her husband, are the three Northern Territory victims believed to have been on the doomed flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Ms Bell was holidaying in Europe and travelling back to Darwin prior to the start of the new school term next week.
Her colleagues in the tight-knit community were said to be devastated as condolence messages began to circulate in Maningrida yesterday morning.
It is understand the NT Education Department has spoken to Ms Bell's family.
Chief Minister Adam Giles said the NT Government was working with Consular officials, and the NT Police Disaster Victim Identification staff remained on standby if needed to assist with identifications.
"This is truly reprehensible and unspeakable criminal act and on behalf of all Territorians, I wish to express my condolences to all the families and friends of the victims, particularly the Territory families involved, "Mr Giles said.
"This is a sad and sorry day for our country and all nations affected."
Hers is just one of hundreds of sad stories to be told in the wake of the MH17 tragedy.
Sunbury real estate agent Albert Rizk. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook
Melbourne couple Elaine Teoh and Emiel Mahler. Picture: Facebook Source: News Corp Australia
TEN PASSENGERS FROM VICTORIA
Ten Victorians are also among those killed, Premier Denis Napthine said.
"This is a sad and tragic day, not just for Victorians but for all people and all nations," he said.
"The shooting down of a passenger aircraft full of innocent civilians is an unspeakable act that will forever leave a dark stain on our history."
Toorak College teacher Frankie Davison and her husband, Liam, are among the dead.
"We are devastated by the news of this tragedy," a statement on the Toorak College website said.
"Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with Frankie's family and friends." The Davisons had two children, the college said.
Albert Rizk, a real estate agent, and his wife Marie, from Sunbury, 40km northwest of Melbourne, were due to return home today after spending a month holidaying in Europe, the Herald-Sun reports.
The pair were holidaying with two friends, who caught an earlier flight which the Rizks missed.
A former University of Melbourne student, 27-year-old Elaine Teoh, was killed.
A statement from Malaysians of Melbourne University confirmed that Ms Teoh was one of the 298 victims of the plane crash.
"We would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the families of all victims in flight MH17," the group said.
"It has been a tough year for Malaysia. Let us stand united in hoping for betterment."
Teoh is from Penang, in Malaysia, but lived in Melbourne, according to her Facebook page. Dutch national Emiel Mahler, Elaine's boyfriend, was also a victim who lived in Melbourne.
Ms Teoh's employer, IG Australia, issued a statement saying she and Mr Mahler — who used to work at the company — were "beloved members of our close IG community and were valued members of our team".
Mr Mahler left IG Australia to join Vanguard Australia, which said staff were "extremely sad".
Toowoomba pathologist Roger Guard. Source: News Corp Australia
Gold Coast resident Helena Sidelik. Source: Supplied
SEVEN PASSENGERS FROM QUEENSLAND
Premier Campbell Newman said he was "shocked, outraged, dismayed and deeply saddened," by what "appears to be a crime".
"Today, as far as I'm concerned, is about families, friends and communities of Queensland that are affected," he said.
Mr Newman said he supported the Australian government's push for a full, independent inquiry into what had occurred and who was responsible.
He said the loss of so many innocent lives was chilling and sickening.
"It's hard not to get angry and emotional about it," Mr Newman said.
Some of the Queensland victims have been identified.
Toowoomba pathologist Roger Guard and his wife Jill have been confirmed as two of the seven Queenslanders to die in the MH17 crash.
Dr Guard, a long-time Queensland Health employee was due back at work on Monday and was returning from a European holiday with his wife.
A Gold Coast woman travelling home from a friend's European wedding has also been confirmed as a victim of the MH17 tragedy.
Burleigh resident Helena Sidelik, aged in her late 50s, sent a final message to friends just before she boarded flight MH17, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.
Irene and George Burrows, from Biloela in central Queensland, have been mourning the loss of son Rodney and daughter-in-law Mary aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, whose final resting place still remains unclear.
They are now mourning the loss of another family member from the MH17 disaster, The Courier Mail reports.
Plane crash victims ... Mo, Otis and Evie Norris died alongside their grandfather. Source: Supplied
SEVEN PASSENGERS FROM WESTERN AUSTRALIA
In Western Australia, seven people have been confirmed to have boarded the plane.
Perth man Nick Norris, a member of the South Perth Yacht Club, and some of his grandchildren are also believed to have perished.
News Talk 6PR said that his wife in Perth has been informed.
Three West Australian children travelling with their grandfather are among the youngest victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
Parents of Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and Otis Maslin, 8, who were on their way back to Perth with their grandfather, local businessman Nick Norris, have been crushed by the enormity of their loss.
Rin Norris and Anthony Maslin were not on board the plane with their children who were flying back to be back in time for the next school term, Perth Now reports.
Illawarra resident Carol Clancy. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook
Perth businessman Nick Norris. Source: Supplied
THREE PASSENGERS FROM NEW SOUTH WALES
Sydney nun Sister Philomena Tiernan is with the Sisters of the Sacred Heart at Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, The Daily Telegraph reports.
"Sadly, we have been advised that one person from NSW was on board the flight and I extend my sympathies and offer my support to their family and friends," NSW premier Mike Baird said in a statement.
An Illawarra couple are also among 289 killed on Malaysia Airlines Flight, neighbours have confirmed.
Retired couple Michael and Carol Clancy, believed to be in their 60s, were due to return from a three-week European holiday when the flight was shot down over eastern Ukraine early today.
Staff and students at Albion Park Public School, where Mr Clancy taught for 21 years until the end of last year, were notified the couple were believed to have been on the plane.
Carol Clancy's devastated daughter Jane Malcolm fought back tears as she tried to comprehend why someone would want to hurt her mother.
"(Michael) had recently retired and they were going overseas for a big trip and we found out this morning it had been shot down," Ms Malcolm said.
"It hasn't sunk in," she said. "It's something that happens to other people, not something that happens to you.
"I spoke to them at Sydney Airport, they were excited about leaving a couple of weeks ago. It's really hard to image someone wanting to hurt them."
Ms Malcolm said the trip involved visiting Netherlands, Germany, France and Norway.
"My stepfather has health problems, they had to pay for first class tickets because of his health to be able to travel with his back problems," she said,
"It's not like they were frequent travelling."
She said the holiday was a reward for years of service teaching.
Mrs Clancy taught at Lakelands Public School and Fig Tree Public School.
"Both were primary school teachers with special needs students," she said.
"We'll get through this but it's horrific."
Mother-of-two Liliane Derden, 50, from the ACT. Source: News Corp Australia
ONE PASSENGER FROM THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
A Canberra mother-of-two has been identified as one of 28 Australian victims killed in the Ukraine plane disaster.
Liliane Derden, 50, from Hall in Canberra's north, was on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 when it crashed in rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.
She worked for the National Health and Medical Research Council whose staff expressed deep sadness at the loss of a valued colleague and friend.
ACT acting chief minister Andrew Barr said the tragedy was devastating news for Ms Derden's family and friends.
A New Zealand woman, a long-time resident of Australia, was travelling with her husband, a Danish citizen, is also believed to have been on the flight.
Flight attendant Sanjid Singh. Source: Supplied
All that is left ... wreckage from MH17. Source: AFP
TRAGIC LINK TO MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MH370
The stories of people killed on the downed plane are of course international — but few are as heartbreaking as the story of Sanjid Singh.
Just 313 days ago, Mr Singh's wife — a flight attendant — pulled out of a work shift that would have had her on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 — the Boeing 777 which went missing over the Gulf of Thailand in the early hours of March 8.
But is a terrible twist, Mr Singh's grieving father told The Malysian Insider that his son had called to say that he had swapped a shift of his own in order to get on board flight MH17 and fly home to Kuala Lumpur.
"He told us recently that he swapped with a colleague for the return Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight," said Jijar Singh.
"He always called us before he leaves for his trip. He was supposed to come here at noon after he returns from Amsterdam this morning. His mother had prepared all his favourite dishes."
It was then as the 71-year-old sobbed that he revealed that Sanjid's wife was meant to be on the ill-fated MH370.
"Sanjid's wife was meant to fly on MH370 but swapped with another colleague at the last minute," he said between sobs.
Mr Singh, 41, was among the 15 crew members who died in the plane crash.
"I have undergone two heart bypasses," his father said. "Our daughter waited until 4am to tell us. She dare not tell us earlier. I am 71 and she (Sanjid's mother) is 73. We are in such a state. My whole body is shivering.
"We are heartbroken because he was our only son. What to do? What has happened, has happened," he said with a trembling voice.
Leading researcher into the HIV virus ... Professor Joep Lange. Source: Supplied
AIDS campaigner ... Pim de Kuijer. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook
AROUND 100 PASSENGERS WERE HEADING TO AIDS CONFERENCE
A number of passengers on the plane were bound for Melbourne to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference. Some were part of the World Health Organisation.
Leading HIV researcher and father of five Joep Lange was aboard the flight from Amsterdam.
HIV Researchers Dr Lucie van Mens, Martine de Schutter of AIDS Action Europe, Pim de Kuijer and Jacqueline van Tongeren are also thought to have perished.
The World Health Organisation's Glenn Thomas was also bound for Melbourne.
World Health Organisation representative Glenn Thomas. Source: Supplied
Lucie van Mens from the Female Health Company. Source: Supplied
President of the International AIDS Society Professor Francoise Barré-Sinousi expressed her sadness at losing colleagues on board.
"It's a very sad day. I apologise if I don't feel so well," she said at the start of an address to the National Press Club in Canberra.
"In that plane, probably it was many passengers coming to the AIDS conference in Melbourne, including friends, colleagues and our thoughts right now are really with them, with their family. It will be a great loss for the HIV-AIDS community."
She said if it is confirmed Joep Lange, a former president, has been killed it will be "a terrible loss for all of us".
"I have no words, really, to try to express my sadness. I feel totally devastated, if it is confirmed.
"I had the privilege myself to work with him in the past, work closely with them. Joep was a wonderful person. A great professional and professional, but more than that, a wonderful human being."
Former US President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation, UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé and musician and activist Sir Bob Geldof are scheduled to be among the main speakers.
"The International AIDS Society (IAS) today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today," IAS said in a statement.
"At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy."
Crew member Angeline Premila. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook
Flight attendant Nur Shazana Binti Mohamed Salleh. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook
15 MEMBERS OF THE CREW MOURNED
Chinese-language Malaysian news sources Sin Chew has released the names of the 15 crew members on the flight that was shot down in the eastern region of Ukraine, near the Russian border, killing the 298 passengers and crew.
Captain: Wan Amran Bin Wan Hussin (male, 50 years old);
Captain: Eugene Choo Jin Leong (male, 45 years old);
Vice- captain: Ahmad Hakimi Bin Hanapi (male, 29 years old);
Vice- captain: Muhamad Firdaus Bin Abdul Rahim (male, 27 years old);
Mohd Ghafar Bin Abu Bakar (male, 54 years old);
Dora Shamila Binti Kassim (female, 47 years old);
Azrina Binti Yakob (female, 41 years old);
Lee Hui Pin (female, 42 years old);
Mastura Binti Mustafa (female, 40 years old);
Chong Yee Pheng (female, 40 years old);
Shaikh Mohd Noor Bin Mahmood (male, 44 years old);
Sanjid Singh Sandhu (male, 41 years old);
Hamfazlin Sham Binti Mohamed Arifin (female, 42 years old);
Nur Shazana Binti Mohamed Salleh (female, 31 years old), and
Angeline Premila Rajandaran (female, 30 years old).