A Facebook post by Dutch National Cor Pan, a passenger on the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines flight, shows a photo of what is likely the last glimpse of the Boeing 777 airliner before it went down Thursday in an open field in eastern Ukraine. Officials say the crash claimed the lives of all 295 aboard the airliner en route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from Amsterdam.
With the picture of the airliner on the tarmac he added the loosely translated cryptic comment, “In case it disappears, this is what it looks like,” a seemingly cheeky nod to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight from March.
As friends and family took to Cor’s Facebook page for more information on his whereabouts, or any sign of life, their comments provide a sad glimpse into how they are absorbing the horrible news.
“RIP” said one comment. Others expressed disbelief and grief. Cor was apparently on board with companion Neeltje Tol. His profile indicates the two were in a relationship.
One commenter posted a picture of the two in a loving embrace. “Nice picture of them… rest in peace Cor and Neeltje.” Another added, “Unfortunately it’s true. I was hoping that I was wrong. Good luck everyone. Rest in peace Cor and Neeltje.”
This heartbreaking news came as a shock, especially since the couple had been sharing their excitement for their upcoming trip just a few weeks ago.
Photo credit: Cor Pan Facebook page
In this post from July 10, Cor says, “Soon,” to which Neeltje responds, “Luckily I’m going with you.” A mutual friend then replies, “Nice thing to look forward to.”
Sadly, this turned out not to be true.
The area of eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border, has been consumed by fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian military forces trying to maintain an independent Ukrainian state.
Ukraine’s president, Petro O. Poroshenko, has called for an investigation into the crash.
Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, took to Twitter to announce they will launch their own investigation into this latest incident. He said he is “shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation.”
Ukrainians told the New York Times the plane could have been shot down by a Russian-made anti-aircraft system. Several military planes have been attacked in the area, but the flight path has stayed open to commercial flights.
In the meantime, survivors are left to deal with the grief and loss of their friends, family and loved ones. Those who knew and loved Cor Pan are just a few of those left reeling from this latest airline disaster. Perhaps Facebook offers some opportunity to come together and express disbelief at this tragedy.