Washington, DC – July 18, 2014 — In a press conference held on Friday, the New York Daily News reported that Quinn Lucas Schansman was the only American citizen among the 298 people on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
President Barack Obama called the tragedy “an outrage of unspeakable proportions” where innocent lives had been taken. Flight 17 was shot down on the Ukrainian-Russian border on Thursday while en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.
In a message to NBC News, Fabienne Schriek, a friend of Quinn Schansman, called him “kind…sensitive and caring.” She said that “He had a lot of friends and everybody seem[ed] to like him…He was really down to earth and just [a] fun guy to have around…We are devastated.” Other family members have indicated that Schansman was traveling to Malaysia for a family vacation. His cousin, Rodney Schansman, said that the family was planning a reunion in Europe in the future, as Quinn had spent the majority of his life growing up in the Netherlands.
Other Passenger Indentified with Ties to the U.S.
Another person onboard MH17 with a connection to the United States has also been identified. Karlijn Keijzer was a former graduate student from Indiana University. According to NBC Chicago, the 25-year-old from Amsterdam was known for her love of rowing. Stephen Peterson, the head coach of the rowing team at Indiana University, said “The Indiana Rowing family is deeply saddened by the news of Karlijn’s sudden passing.”
Keijer’s parents posted this message to her Facebook page confirming the loss of their daughter: “Our beautiful, lively, brilliant daughter Karlijn was in the plane that crashed together with her boyfriend Laurens.” President Obama confirmed that there is evidence that the flight crashed after being hit by a missile and suggested pro-Russian separatists could be responsible. He also remarked that “The eyes of the world are on eastern Ukraine, and we are going to make sure that the truth is out.”