Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Swire’s words of comfort for Ukraine families

Jim Swire
Jim Swire

Lockerbie campaigner Dr Jim Swire has penned a letter to help reassure families of victims on flight MH17 that their loved ones did not suffer.

Dr Swire, whose daughter Flora, 23, died when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky above Lockerbie in December 1988, has spoken out about the consequences of losing a loved one in such devastating circumstances.

In a letter published at the weekend, he told the families of those who had been on board the Malaysia Airlines flight, which was brought down in eastern Ukraine, that their loved ones will have been knocked unconscious almost instantly after the plane was reportedly hit by a missile.

He said: “Relatives and friends will ask: did those aboard flight MH17 suffer? Following the Lockerbie disaster of 1988, in which my daughter Flora was among those murdered, we learned that the answer was that loss of consciousness would be virtually instantaneous, from the moment that the fuselage depressurised.

“Some relatives will want to see the bodies of their loved ones, some will not. They should be given the choice, but in the knowledge that many bodies will be dismembered, and that any recognisably retrieved will show the bloated features of rapid depressurisation.

“In addition, a forensic examination will probably be required, and to perform this on so many victims will require remains to be preserved; so even a lock of hair is likely to be pungent with preservative.”

Dr Swire added: “The long-term consequences for relatives will cascade down the decades. It will be wise to seek professional help for post-traumatic stress disorder, and relationship and financial repercussions.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]