All walks of life among Malaysia plane passengers

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The nearly 300 people who died on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 included international passengers from all walks of life — among them, a prominent AIDS researcher, a florist and a nun.

Several passengers were traveling to Melbourne, Australia, for the 20th International AIDS conference, which starts Sunday. The Academic Medical Center hospital in Amsterdam said in a statement that two of its staff, including renowned AIDS researcher Joep (yoop) Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society, are believed to have died.

Students at an Australian Catholic school gathered today for a special prayer meeting after it was confirmed that a 77-year-old teacher — Sister Philomene Tiernan — had been killed.

In the close-knit fishing town of Volendam, near the Dutch capital, flowers were laid outside a florist’s shop. The owner and her boyfriend were believed to be among the victims.

A Malaysia Airlines vice president says 189 of the passengers were Dutch. There were also 29 Malaysians, 28 Australians, 12 Indonesians and nine from the United Kingdom. The passengers also included four each from Germany and Belgium, three from the Philippines and one each from Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Two passengers’ nationalities remained to be confirmed.

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APPHOTO AMS801: In this October 2008 photo provided by AMC Amsterdam on Friday, July 18, 2014, former president of the International AIDS Society Joep Lange is seen. A large number of world-renowned AIDS researchers and activists heading to an international AIDS conference in Australia were on board a Malaysian jetliner that was shot down over Ukraine, officials said Friday, as news of their deaths sparked an outpouring of grief across the global scientific community. Among them was Joep Lange, a well-known researcher from the Netherlands (AP Photo/Peter Lowie/AMC) (21 Oct 2008)

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APPHOTO AMS122: People place flowers outside Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, Friday, July 18, 2014. The attack on a Malaysian jetliner Thursday afternoon killed 298 people from nearly a dozen nations, more than half being Dutch, including vacationers, students and a large contingent of scientists heading to an AIDS conference in Australia. (AP Photo/Phil Nijhuis) (18 Jul 2014)

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