Some 100 on board crashed Malaysia flight were AIDS workers: reports - Daily Nation

Some 100 on board crashed Malaysia flight were AIDS workers: reports

Friday July 18 2014

A picture taken on July 17, 2014, shows flames in the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed near the town of Shaktarsk in rebel-held east Ukraine. PHOTO/AFP
A picture taken on July 17, 2014, shows flames in the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed near the town of Shaktarsk in rebel-held east Ukraine. PHOTO/AFP
Military officers at the site of the crash  on July 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
Military officers at the site of the crash on July 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows the wreckage of the malaysian airliner after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows the wreckage of the malaysian airliner after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
A man stands next to the wreckage of the Malaysian airliner after it crashed, in rebel-held east Ukraine, near the town of Shaktarsk, on July 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
A man near the wreckage of the Malaysian airliner after it crashed, in rebel-held east Ukraine, near the town of Shaktarsk, on July 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
A firefighter on July 17, 2014 puts out fire on the wreckage of the Malaysian airliner near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER  KHUDOTEPLY
A firefighter on July 17, 2014 puts out fire on the wreckage of the Malaysian airliner near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER KHUDOTEPLY
Relatives of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on July 18, 2014.  AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA
Relatives of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on July 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA
The wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur a day after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine on July 18, 2014.
The wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur a day after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine on July 18, 2014. Pro-Russian rebels fighting central Kiev authorities claimed on July 17 that the Malaysian airline that crashed in Ukraine had been shot down by a Ukrainian jet. The head of Ukraine's air traffic control agency said Thursday that the crew of the Malaysia Airlines jet that crashed in the separatist east had reported no problems during flight. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
People search for bodies at the site of the crash of a Malaysian airliner near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine on July 18, 2014.  AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
People search for bodies at the site of the crash of a Malaysian airliner near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine on July 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
The wreckage of the malaysian airliner near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine on July 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER  KHUDOTEPLY
The wreckage of the malaysian airliner near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine on July 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER KHUDOTEPLY
A picture taken on July 18, 2014 shows the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet a day after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
A picture taken on July 18, 2014 shows the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet a day after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
A picture taken on July 18, 2014 shows belongings of passengers at the site of the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet . AFP PHOTO /DOMINIQUE FAGET
A picture taken on July 18, 2014 shows belongings of passengers at the site of the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet . AFP PHOTO /DOMINIQUE FAGET
By AFP
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MELBOURNE

As many as 100 of those killed on a Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in Ukraine were delegates heading to Australia for a global AIDS conference, unconfirmed reports said Friday.

The Australian broadsheet and the Sydney Morning Herald both said that more than one-third of the nearly 300 who died were AIDS researchers, health workers and activists en route to Melbourne.

The Herald said those attending a pre-conference meeting in Sydney were told that around 100 of their colleagues were on the plane that went down, including former International AIDS Society president Joep Lange.

The Australian reported that delegates to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, which is due to begin on Sunday, were to be informed that 108 of their colleagues and family members died on MH17.

CONFERENCE TO GO AHEAD

The International AIDS Society has confirmed that "a number of our colleagues and friends" were killed, but has not said how many.

Asked by reporters whether 108 people attending the conference were on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, International AIDS Society president Francoise Barre-Sinoussi said she was not sure.

"We don't have the confirmation (of numbers)," she said.

"We don't know how many were on that flight."

Organisers of the conference in Melbourne said it would go ahead regardless.

"The decision to go on, we were thinking about them because we know it's really what they would have liked us to do," said Barre-Sinoussi.