Six of the approximately nine British victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 have been identified, including South African-born pilot Cameron Dalziel, students Ben Pocock and Richard Mayne, and football fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney.
Dalziel, 43, was using a British passport and was flying back to Malaysia after undergoing training in Amsterdam.
“Cameron was larger than life, He lived every day as if it was his last,” co-pilot Chris Berlyn told You, an African news agency.
“Any pilot accepts that he might die in a plane crash, but to be shot down by terrorists fills one with anger.”
Dalziel leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Richard Mayne and Ben Pocock were both students and aged 20.
Mayne was studying math and finance at Leeds University; he was traveling to Australia for an industrial placement.
His father Simon told the Daily Mail that he had helped Richard book the flight.
“He was on his way to Perth. When we were looking at flights together, there was this one that stopped in Amsterdam and we thought it would be perfect. He was diabetic so we thought it would be a good chance for him to do whatever he needed to do and maybe even go out and have a ride on the bikes and see Amsterdam. He was really looking forward to it,” he said.
Ukrainian coal miners search the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne, Ukraine, eastern Ukraine, Friday, July 18, 2014. Rescue workers, policemen and off-duty coal miners were combing a sprawling area in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border where the Malaysian plane ended up in burning pieces Thursday, killing all 298 aboard. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
A woman walks at the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 18, 2014. Rescue workers, policemen and even off-duty coal miners were combing a sprawling area in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border where the Malaysian plane ended up in burning pieces Thursday, killing all 298 aboard. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
People hold candles and place flower tribute outside the Dutch embassy to commemorate victims of Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, July 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
“When I first saw it on the news, my heart dropped. I just thought, oh God, oh God – I couldn’t believe it. We were hoping and praying he had fallen asleep at Amsterdam and missed his flight. Richard’s father Simon Mayne. I took him to the airport at 3am myself, to fly to Amsterdam. When I first saw it on the news, my heart dropped. I just thought, oh God, oh God – I couldn’t believe it.
“We were hoping and praying he had fallen asleep at Amsterdam and missed his flight. You think you’ve got problems and them something like this happens and it all just takes over. I can’t even bring myself to look at a photograph of him. We are beyond devastated. It is such a beautiful sunny day but our lives have been torn apart.”
Pocock was about to go on vacation in Australia after completing summer exams at Loughborough University. H e was also scheduled to start a study-abroad program at the University of Western Australia as part of his international business studies.
Teammates from the St. Mary Redcliffe Cricket Club in Bristol paid tribute to him on Facebook.
“I can’t believe it. Ben Pocock good fun loving bloke to young to be taken from his family and friends. Thoughts go out to his family,” said one, Graham Bell.
John Alder and Liam Sweeney were on their way to New Zealand to watch a Newcastle United preseason friendly.
Alder, and Sweeney, 28, are being mourned by friends and family.
Liam’s father Barry told the Mail: “They bonded through their love of Newcastle, they were part of a big group of friends but only they could afford to go. Something has to be done about the situation in Ukraine as what has happened is an act of terrorism.
“Although Putin has tired to blame the Ukraine I think it is clear where the problem is and something has to be done. Russia has something to do with it and now we have lost a son because of it all. “Why could they not have changed the flight plan for planes that were flying so close to a dangerous war zone?”
Researcher Glenn Thomas, who was headed to an AIDs conference in Australia, was also identified as a victim.