Aussie passenger details released
The names of Australian passenger details have been released along with the total number of loved ones lost for each state and territory. The total count is approaching 40 Australians with New South Wales suffering news of their 6th victim.
Call the hotline
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing counselling and other support to the next of kin of the Australian citizens known to have been aboard MH17. If you're in need of this service, do not hesitate to contact the DFAT hotlines on 1300 555 135 within Australia or + 61 2 6261 3305 from overseas.
Since the news broke just over 12 hours ago, multiple reports have surfaced describing what happened to the passenger plane en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. Nothing has been confirmed as to why the crash occurred. However, the media was pretty quick to start releasing passenger details with early estimates stating just under 300 people were on board the flight.
Who was on board #MH17?
A mix of nationalities are known to have been travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur including Dutch, Malaysian, British, Belgian, German, Filipino, Indonesian, Canadian and Australian citizens. So far, reports have confirmed that at least 28 Australians were on the flight but more may have been using international passports which would raise the current total. There have also been reports claiming that over 100 of the passengers were heading to the International Aids Conference in Melbourne.
The airline must first contact next-of-kin before confirming any facts to the media which is why we're seeing different stories surfacing around the globe.
How can we comfort those affected?
It's important to be aware how vulnerable friends and family of passengers are right now.If you know someone that had a loved one on board the best thing you can do is to try and avoid fuelling the social media fire with information and updates that have not been verified.
Some of the Australian victims have been identified as prominent community figures which has prompted their communities to send flowers, letters and offerings of sympathy to their workplace or schools. So if you know someone directly affected perhaps consider doing something similar for them.
Keep following this post
As more details emerge, we'll update this post with more ways that you can help those left behind by this tragedy.