‘She might be still alive!’ Parents of MH17 victim arrive at crash site in Ukraine
The parents of 25-year-old Fatima, who was among the passengers on board the tragic Malaysian plane, don’t want to believe their daughter is dead. They have arrived at the crash site in eastern Ukraine, and are determined to look for her.
George and Angela Dyczynski from Perth, Australia, laid flowers at the site of the crashed Malaysian Airplane jet near the village of Grabovo for their daughter, Fatima Dyczynski, on Saturday. They were the first relatives of the plane victims to arrive at the site of the tragedy, according to NBC's Kier Simmons.
When George and Angela learned about the July 17 tragedy that killed 298 people, they didn’t want to lose hope as their daughter’s mobile phone rang after the crash.
“Did you see the CNN report about the mobile phones?... So we go," George said.
He might have been referring to a CNN report about relatives who called victims and received answers from strangers.
The parents decided on a dangerous journey – right to the heart of war-torn Ukraine – to the Donetsk Region where the Malaysian Airlines plane crashed. They were determined to go despite government officials in Australia, Germany and the Netherlands advising victims' families against immediately travelling to the crisis-torn country.
George believes that if his daughter was strapped in her seat when the plane crashed, this could have cushioned the impact of hitting the ground.
"Nobody speaks about survivors and there must be a reason for it. There is some evidence there are survivors still."
As soon as the grieving parents arrived in Amsterdam on Thursday, they prepared for the flight to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. From there they headed to Donetsk.
"We go today. We've got a connecting flight to Donetsk to the site where the aircraft attack was," George Dyczynski told reporters at the Amsterdam airport on Thursday, according to Australian Associated Press.
"It is our deepest belief and we will not give up the search until we find her alive," Angela added.
George was wearing a T-shirt with Fatima’s face printed on it with the words "Fatima We Love You."
“I cling to it… In Australia, when one person [goes missing] hundreds of people go to the bush and look until they are found. So we want to [do it]. We want to see if there are survivors,” George told the Telegraph.
The grief-stricken parents were accompanied by Dutch officials, but only in the Netherlands; in Ukraine they were on their own.
“We go on our own. But we have a lot of support of people from the media, the government," said George.
Fatima Dyczynski, a promising aerospace engineer, was travelling to Perth, Australia, to start an internship with the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) when the tragedy happened. She planned to become an astronaut and go to Mars. She was also about to fulfill her dream of becoming a permanent Australian resident.
Fatima moved with her parents from Germany to Perth seven years ago. She later went to the Netherlands to study aeronautical engineering at the Delft University of Technology. After her internship in Perth she intended to complete a masters course in the Netherlands.
“For this Earth, Galaxy and beyond. Always remember: don't let gravity hold us back,” she wrote on her Facebook page right before boarding the flight.
Another Perth couple, Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris, who lost their three children - Evie, 10, Mo, 12, and Otis, 8, - and the chldrens’ grandfather, said the pain from their loss 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," they say.
On Friday, investigators from the Netherlands and Australia arrived at the crash area to probe the causes of the tragedy and to help bring the last of the victims home.
According to OSCE observers investigating the site, more human remains have been discovered. The experts called for the area to be secured.