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Ukraine Plane Crash

Australian Woman Loses Family in 2 Different Malaysia Air Disasters

SYDNEY — In an almost incomprehensible twist of fate, an Australian woman who lost her brother in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 learned on Friday that her stepdaughter was on the plane shot down over Ukraine. Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on board Flight 370 when it vanished in March. On Friday, Mann found out that her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed along with 297 others on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which U.S. intelligence authorities believe was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

“It’s just brought everyone, everything back,” said Greg Burrows, Mann’s brother. “It’s just ... ripped our guts again.”

Kaylene Mann
Kaylene Mann, right, and Jayden Burrows hold hands as they read a statement to the media in Brisbane, Australia, on March 25 about the loss of Rod Burrows, who is Kaylene's brother and Jayden's father. Dan Peled / AP file

Burrows said his family was struggling to understand how they could be struck by such horrible luck on two separate occasions with the same airline. “She just lost a brother and now a stepdaughter, so...” he said of his sister. Rizk and her husband Albert, of Melbourne, were returning home from a four-week holiday in Europe. Despite the twin tragedies, Burrows said he holds nothing against Malaysia Airlines. “Nobody could predict they were going to get shot down,” he said. “That was out of their hands.”

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— The Associated Press