The parents of an Australian victim of the MH17 disaster are clinging to hopes their daughter may still be alive, travelling to Ukraine to find her, reports said on Friday.
Jerzy and Angela Dyczynski's daughter, Fatima, was on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was brought down by a suspected missile strike, as she made her way to see her parents in Perth.
“We still think she is alive so today we fly to Donetsk and we find her,” her father, a doctor, told The Australian newspaper from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.
The Dyczynskis have been clinging to hope that Fatima, their only child, somehow survived the disaster which befell the plane carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Her father believes the 25-year-old space scientist could have been flung out of the plane and had she still been strapped in her seat, this could have cushioned the impact of hitting the ground.
“We have a connecting flight to Donetsk and to the site where the aircraft attack was. We believe she's alive,” he added to the newspaper.
“Did you see the CNN report about the mobile phones? So we go,” he said, apparently referring to reports that relatives who called the phones of loved ones on MH17 had them answered by strangers.
The Dyczynskis, who were to provide medical and DNA samples to Dutch investigators, are determined to travel to the crash site in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, despite warnings about safety.
“No, we are not worried,” Angela Dyczynski told reporters in Kiev, Australian Associated Press said. “You should not worry. We are in best hands.”
Her husband said he was determined to find his daughter, who was originally from Germany.
“We go to the site where the aircraft was attacked,” he said. “We want to search for her.
“Nobody speaks about survivors and there must be a reason for it. There is some evidence there are survivors still.”
The MH17 tragedy has touched a nerve in Australia, which had 28 citizens and at least nine permanent residents onboard the flight.
Perth couple Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris, whose children Evie, 10, Mo, 12, and Otis, 8, were on the flight along with their grandfather, said this week their pain was “intense and relentless”.
“We live in a hell beyond hell,” they said in a statement. “No one deserves what we are going through. Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky.” - Sapa-AFP