The last moments of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 have been well documented by media the world over. En route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, all 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed when the plane crashed over Ukraine - now presumed to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
An expert from Bournemouth University is playing his part in the humanitarian response to this tragedy. As a member of UK based Blake Emergency Services (Blakes), Damian Evans from the Faculty of Science & Technology, travelled to the Netherlands on deployment with Blakes, a company which specialises in responding to mass fatality incidents all over the world.
Damian has been working as a member of the Blakes Property Team who, on behalf of Malaysian Airlines, is responsible for sensitively and professionally preparing property and personal effects recovered from the crash site. This detailed work ensures that the items are safe to be returned to the victims' next of kin.
Damian Evans said, "'It is good to be able to work with an international disaster response team, helping record and process personal effects from MH17. Ultimately skills gained from this experience feed directly back into the teaching here at BU. Due to the nature of the work I am grateful to the university for allowing me to deploy in disaster response situations.''
The work in the Netherlands is even now continuing, both in terms of the identification of the fatalities, as well as of preparation of the personal effects. Sadly, it may be sometime until the work in response to this tragedy is completed, but all of those involved in the response, in whatever capacity, are working hard to bring the humanitarian side of the response to a close.