SA pilot was upgraded on ill-fated MH17

2014-07-20 09:16
Cameron Dalziel (Beeld)

Cameron Dalziel (Beeld)

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WATCH: Couple who missed stricken Malaysia Airlines flight visibly shaken

2014-07-18 09:10

A Scottish couple cannot believe how they cheated death by missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which involved in an alleged terror attack over the Ukraine. WATCH

Johannesburg - South African helicopter pilot Cameron Dalziel sent a “brag” photo to his wife and sons after having been upgraded to business class on the ill-fated Malaysia Airline flight that was shot down over the Ukraine. Only hours later, Dalziel was one of 298 people who died following the tragic incident.

According to the Sunday Times, Dalziel was on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur to meet with his family in Miri after a working trip in the Netherlands.

Dalziel and his family had moved from Durban to Miri in December where he worked for Canadian company CHC Helicopters. The family planned to fly home to Durban in two weeks for a holiday.

Meanwhile, international monitors moved gingerly on Saturday through fields reeking of decomposing corpses of the victims of the Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation of the disaster can be conducted.

The crash that killed all 298 people aboard the plane two days earlier intensified the already-high animosity on all sides of the conflict.

The Ukrainian government and separatist rebels accuse each other of shooting down the Boeing 777 with a surface-to-air missile. Many see the hand of Russia, either for its alleged support of the insurgents or perhaps firing the missile itself. The crash site is near the Russian border.

Amid wide calls for an international investigation, doubts arose about whether the evidence was being compromised before inspectors ever reach the scene.

Peace talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in a phone call on Saturday that the sides should enter talks and stop fighting, according to a Kremlin statement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US counterpart John Kerry took a similar view, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, the US pointed blame at the separatists, saying Washington believes the jetliner likely was downed by an SA-11 missile and "we cannot rule out technical assistance from Russian personnel".

The government in Kiev said militiamen have removed 38 bodies from the crash site and have taken them to the rebel-held city of Donetsk. It said the bodies were transported with the assistance of specialists with distinct Russian accents.

The rebels are also "seeking large transports to carry away plane fragments to Russia", the Ukrainian government said on Saturday.

In Donetsk, separatist leader Alexander Borodai denied that any bodies had been transferred or that the rebels had in any way interfered with the work of observers. He said he encouraged the involvement of the international community in assisting with the clean-up before the conditions of the bodies worsens significantly.

 

- News24
Read more on:    angela merkel  |  vladimir putin  |  russia  |  ukraine  |  mh17  |  air crashes
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