Last Photo of Mother & Child Taken Aboard Doomed Malaysia Airline Flight MH17

Mother and son, Petra Langeveld and Gary Slok, in last known photo alive. Taken aboard Malaysia Airline Flight MH17 before take off from Amsterdam.

Fifteen year old Gary Slok and his mother, Petra Langeveld were traveling to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014 for a special vacation arranged for single mothers and their children. Only a few hours after this photo was taken, their plane, Malaysia Airline Flight MH17, which took off from Amsterdam, was shot down with a Buk surface-to-air missile by a group of Pro-Russian separatists. Buk missiles are self-propelled missiles that can be guided from the ground using a radar system and can travel three times the speed of sound, with the capability to reach a target more that 70,000 feet (21,300 meters) in the air. At the time of impact, the Malaysian Airline’s Boeing 777 was traveling at 33,000 feet (10,000 meters). The plane crashed in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. In the aftermath, the Russian government initially blamed the Ukraine for the attack on the commercial airline; However, it was discovered the missile had come from territory belonging to Russian-backed separatists who had indeed shot down flight MH17. The fate of MH17 ranks as Malaysia Airline’s worst flight incident, and occurred only three months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airline Flight 370, which has yet to be recovered. This final photo of Petra Langeveld and her son, Gary Slok, which was discovered through social media, is a disheartening reminder that death can come even when we least expect it.

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