Rodney and Mary Burrows missing on MH370.
SYDNEY — An Australian family is in mourning again after losing relatives on MH17, just months after grieving the loss of loved ones on MH370.
Irene and George Burrows from northern Queensland lost their son Rodney Burrows and daughter-in-law Mary on Flight MH370, when it vanished between Beijing and Kuala Lumpur in March. Now, they have lost their step-granddaughter Maree Rizk and her husband Albert on MH17, which was shot down above eastern Ukraine on Thursday.
George Burrows, the father of Maree's stepmother Kaylene, said although the tragedy has hit the family hard, they are grateful to know the fate of their step-granddaughter. It is in stark contrast tothe questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of MH370 and the lack of information about his missing son.
“It’s unbelievable what’s happened. Not too good at all,” George told the Brisbane Times. “But at least we know what has happened. It’s the not knowing that’s the worst.”
“Looking at the pictures it’s such a mess,” he said. "This time it’s sunk in straight away, but when Rodney and Mary disappeared in took a few days. We just have to accept it and keep going.”
Greg Burrows, the brother of Kaylene, told AP the second tragedy had brought all the emotion back. "It just brought everyone, everything back … It's just ... ripped our guts out again," he said.
Maree and Albert Rizk, who were in their mid-50s, had been on a month-long holiday when they boarded the ill-fated MH17. Due to a long stopover, the couple had attempted to change their flight without success. The deceased couple from Sunbury, a town in Victoria, have two children.
In March, Rodney and Mary Burrows were on their way to a holiday in China when MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board.
At the time, their son Jayden said in a statement the family were struggling to come to terms with the "terrible tragedy".
"We dearly love and will miss our Mum and Dad," he said. "The love and compassion that they shared and their priority of putting their family first will help us get through this together. We are heartbroken this stage of their life has been cut short."
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