At least two passengers of the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 had premonition that something bad was going to happen to their plane based on a video that one of them posted on Instagram before take-off and a joke that another traveler wrote on his Facebook newsfeed.
The New York Post reported that Md Ali Md Salim, a passenger, took a 13-second video of the plane moments before take-off and posted the clip on his Instagram account under the handle @masa1777 with the note that he was nervous, as if sensing something wrong was about to happen to the aircraft. He wrote, quoted by the Bernama state news agency in Malaysia, "Bismillah ... #hatiadasikitgentar (In the name of God ... feeling a little nervous)."
Reposted in YouTube, the video has gone viral with almost 3 million hits in 1 day.
The passenger's apprehension proved correct because then jet, while flying over Ukrainian air space was hit by a missile and crashed on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board. The traveler's worry could have been because he was taking a Malaysian Airlines flight, aware that a little over four months ago, MH Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing and until now is missing, although many people have presumed all 239 passengers and crew on the plane are now dead.
Salim, a doctoral student at an Amsterdam university, was coming home from Amsterdam for the holidays, according to his brother Md Zaki md Salim. He was supposed to bring with him as present for family members a pair of pants and shoes purchased from The Netherlands.
Cor Pan, a Dutch passenger on the jet wrote on his Facebook, "Mocht hij verdwijnen , zo ziet hij d'r uit," which means "If it goes missing, this is what it looks like." He accompanied his post with a photo of the aircraft that he took while lining up to board the plane. His post served as caption to the photo.
Pan was with his girlfriend Neeltje on their way to enjoy some sun in Malaysia's beaches.
Pan's friends immediately reposted his Facebook newsfeeds upon learning of the tragedy that befell the Dutch man. Some also wrote notes of condolence, while others shared the eerie message he left.
On Friday, some friends left a note taped to the flower shop owned by Neeltje, which read: Dear Cor and Neeltje. This is unwanted, unbelievable and unfair. Rest in peace. We will never forget you."
In the case of a Malaysian couple, the wife - a flight attendant - swapped with a colleague in MH Flight 370 that until now remains missing, in the process sparing her life. But her husband, 41-year-old Sanjid Singh, also an MH steward, changed places with another flight attendant to fly the Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur plane that was allegedly shot by the Ukrainian rebels.
Sanjid's father, 71-year-old Jijar Singh, disclosed that he was supposed to visit their family home upon returning from Amsterdam and his mum even prepared Sanjid's favourite dishes. The elder Singh told The New York Post, "I have undergone two heart bypasses. Our daughter waited until 4 a.m. to tell us. She dare not tell us earlier. I am 871 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."