'Brilliant Minds' Perish in Malaysia Airlines Crash

HIV pioneer Joep Lange died in the tragedy.

SYDNEY — Organisers for the 20th International AIDS Conference said on Friday a number of colleagues died when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in Ukraine airspace.

Media reports said as many as 100 researchers, activists and medical personnel who were headed to the conference in Melbourne, Australia, perished in the crash, yet this has not officially been confirmed by the International AIDS Society.
Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down in Ukrainian airspace near the Russian border early Friday morning AEST. There were 298 people on board from at least nine nations.
The flight was to connect with a Malaysia Airlines flight expected to arrive in Melbourne Friday night.
Ukraine MH17

A firefighter sprays water to extinguish a fire amongst the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Many of the people reported killed were some of the most influential in the AIDS industry including World Health Organisation (WHO) staff and HIV researchers.
The community is in mourning, as many empty chairs are expected at the conference which begins on Saturday.
The International AIDS Society released a statement, as its members struggled to come to terms with the enormous loss:
At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy.
The IAS is hearing unconfirmed reports that some of our friends and colleagues were on board the flight and if that is the case this is a truly sad day.

Former International AIDS Society president and Dutch AIDS researcher Joep Lange, who had been working with people with HIV for 30 years, was on the ill-fated flight.
Spokesperson Michael Kessler said at a press conference the HIV AIDS movement had "truly lost a giant".
Lange was the father of five girls. His partner Jacqueline van Tongeren was also reportedly on board the flight.

Health researcher Clive Aspin told The Sydney Morning Herald the news had hit the community hard.
"It's going to be a very sombre mood at the conference in Melbourne, especially for those of us who have been coming to these conferences for many years," he said.
A coordinator of WHO's TB program, Dr Haileyesus Getahun, confirmed on Twitter his friend and colleague, media relations coordinator Glenn Thomas, had also died on the flight.

Glenn Thomas who died in the crash.

It has been reported delegates Lucie van Mens, Martine de Schutter, Pim de Kuijer were also on Flight MH17.
Social media has been overwhelmed by shocked messages from friends, colleagues and the general public.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said there were varying figures of the number of passengers travelling to the Melbourne AIDS conference.
"The exact number is not yet known, but there is no doubt it was a substantial number," he said.
The Victorian government has offered their assistance and condolences to the society.

No comments:


© 2012 Học Để ThiBlog tài liệu