Lightning Strikes Twice: Australian Woman Had Daughter in MH17 & Brother in MH370

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 21, 2014 9:30 AM EST

Kaylene Mann lost her brother, sister-in-law and now daughter within a period of months after they had chosen Malaysian Airlines to travel. It was MH370, the Malaysian Airlines flight that mysteriously disappeared, which killed Rod Burrows, Mann's brother, and May, her sister-in-law. Mann now lost her step-daughter as she was one of the 298 people killed in MH17 as the flight was down over Ukraine. According to U.S. intelligence, the flight was shot down by pro-Russian rebels in a surface-to-air missile attack.

Reuters
A member of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry walks past wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, in the Donetsk region July 20, 2014.

The Australian woman discovered that Maree Rizk, her step-daughter, was one of the passengers in the flight which was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. It was like getting struck twice by lightning. Her brother Greg said that the MH17 accident "ripped" their guts again. It was difficult for the family to understand how such a tragedy, involving the same airline, could occur twice in the same family. However, Greg clarified that there was nothing against the airline in spite of such an unfortunate coincidence. "Nobody could predict they were going to get shot down," the brother said. "That was out of their hands."

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier compared the MH17 tragedy with the Bali bombing which killed 88 Australians. He said that the investigation as well as the recovery of the corpses was going to be a difficult and lengthy process. Abbott accused Russia for the "chaos" going on in the crash area even though it happened in a territory controlled by separatists. "You'd think that this kind of disrespect we've been talking about, and this chaos, could have been prevented if Russia had had the political will," he said. He also said there was a possibility that the weapon which was used to shoot the flight down was supplied by the Russian government.

Mann, in the meantime, may only be interested in getting the lifeless body of her step-daughter as early as possible. The mysterious disappearance of MH370 already deprived her of the privilege of giving a proper burial to her dear ones. She will hope that there will be no more coincidence regarding the burial.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A member of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry walks past wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, in the Donetsk region July 20, 2014.
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