MH17 Ukraine airliner crash: Family speak of flight miss

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Media captionBarry and Izzy Sim: "We were supposed to be on flight"

A Scottish couple have told how they were planning to fly on the Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in eastern Ukraine but changed their flight due to a lack of seats.

Speaking at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, Izzy Sim told the BBC: "We were supposed to be on that flight".

The plane, carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed near the Russian border.

Nine Britons are now known to have died when flight MH17 crashed.

The Boeing 777-200 was apparently shot down over the war-torn country.

Sick feeling

Barry Sim, originally from Methlick in Aberdeenshire but who lives in Malaysia, had tried to board the Malaysia Airlines flight with his wife and baby son but could only get one seat.

Instead, they booked on a KLM flight.

After hearing of the crash, Mr Sim told the BBC: "You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going."

He said he was "philosophical" about continuing to "go about your life", saying he believed the couple should take the KLM flight, despite his wife's misgivings about the danger of another crash.

"In my mind, lightning never strikes twice in the same place so I am still philosophical that you get on the flight and you go about your life.

"I know my wife doesn't feel like that. Probably the last thing she wants to do now is fly, especially to Kuala Lumpur."

Mrs Sim said: "There must have been someone watching over us and saying 'You must not get on that flight'.

"We are very loyal to Malaysia Airlines and we always want to fly with Malaysia Airlines."

She added that her husband usually disliked flying with KLM.

"But, do you know what? At this moment we are so glad to be on that KLM flight rather than that Malaysia Airlines flight," she said.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The plane came down near the village of Grabovo in Ukraine on Thursday
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption US and Ukraine officials say they believe the plane was shot down
Image copyright AP
Image caption One of MH17's black boxes was reportedly sent to Moscow for analysis after being recovered

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