Airlines have released the names of the 283 passengers and 15
crew on flight MH17, which was shot down over the Ukraine.
The manifest confirms the nationalities of all those on
board, including New Zealander Mary Menke, 65, and her
Dutch-born husband Gerry, who were based in Australia.
The majority of passengers were from the Netherlands,
followed by Malaysians, who also lost 15 crew in the
On its website the airline said since the crash it had,
together with various foreign embassies, made "every effort"
to establish contact with the next-of-kin but it was still
unable to identify many family members.
Meanwhile, the sole New Zealand citizen on board the
ill-fated MH17 flight has been remembered as a "warm,
creative and generous" person.
Mrs Menke and her husband were returning to their home in
Australia after celebrating his 70th birthday with family and
friends in the south of France.
The pair were two of the 298 people killed when the Malaysia
Airlines Boeing 777 was shot out of the sky over Ukraine on
Friday, reportedly by Russian-backed separatists.
Mrs Menke, who moved to Australia in her mid-20s, and her
husband were pioneers in the seafood industry in their
adopted home of Mallacoota, Victoria.
They left behind four children Paul, Sara, Brett and Anna. In
a statement, the family said they would be "sorely missed".
"We take comfort in the fact they were together and that's
how they would have wanted it to be."
College students gather around candles forming the shape of
an airplane, during a candlelit vigil for victims of the
downed flight, at a university in Yangzhou, Jiangsu
province, China. REUTERS/Stringer
It is understood Mrs Menke's father and sister live in
She was a talented piano player, taught music at the local
high school, and supported Gerry's business ventures. "She
was a larger-than-life character ... warm, creative and
generous," the Menke family said.
Mr Menke, a paua diver with more than 30 years experience,
helped establish Victoria's burgeoning abalone pearl
aquaculture business. He was reportedly inspired to start the
business after a visit to a New Zealand enterprise.
A relative last night told the Herald on Sunday from
Australia that Mrs Menke had moved to Australia in 1971,
where she "met the man of her dreams".
And last night, as the world's anger turned on Ukraine and
Russia, fresh details emerged of other Kiwi connections to
the ill-fated flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Rob Ayley, 29, from Otaki, was on his way home from a
month-long trip to Europe. He is survived by wife Sharlene
and sons, Seth, 4, and Taylor, 2.
Dutch couple Hendrik-Jan "Henk" Tournier and Ineke Westerveld
were on their way to New Zealand to visit Henk's Taupo-based
daughter, Nanda Bright, and their two grandsons, aged 12 and
Popular former Auckland and Queenstown restaurateur Benoit
Chardome was also on board. The Dutchman lived in New Zealand
for more than 10 years before moving to Bali six years ago.
He was maitre d' at well-known Parnell restaurant Iguacu for
two years, before buying two Queenstown eateries.
Two Newcastle United fans following their team to New Zealand
for the English Premier League club's first tour here were
killed, and will be honoured at games played in Dunedin and
Wellington this week.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities last night accused Russian
rebels of removing bodies and tampering with evidence at the
crash site. Armed pro-Russian rebels earlier stood guard and
fired warning shots at international inspectors.
Bodies and debris are strewn across a 10km radius near
Grabovo, around 50km from the Russian border.
Internationally mediated talks "concluded with an agreement
to set up a 20km security zone so Ukraine could fulfil the
most important thing - identify the bodies and hand them over
to relatives," Ukrainian Security Service head Valentyn
Nalyvaychenko said last night.
It remained unclear whether the crucial black boxes were
still at the site. Amid confusion over the whereabouts of the
flight recorders, Russian authorities had to deny having any
plans to spirit them away.
That assurance failed to stop pressure on Moscow. President
Barack Obama described the deaths of nearly 300 people as an
"outrage", as he issued a stark warning to Vladimir Putin for
supporting the separatists who are thought to have fired the
surface-to-air missile which brought down the aircraft.
Putin was accused of avoiding phone calls from world leaders.
The UN Security Council in New York yesterday passed a
resolution calling for a "full, thorough and independent
international investigation". Dutch Ambassador to the UN
Karel van Oosterom told the council's emergency meeting:
"This is a dark hour in our national history. We are a nation
Foreign Minister Murray McCully joined the voices calling for
a credible inquiry. The disaster comes just four months after
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from the skies
with 239 people on board, including Kiwis Paul Weeks and