Tearful mum whose three young kids were killed in flight MH17 crash reveals she and husband considered suicide
THE parents of three children who died during the tragic Malaysian Airlines crash in 2014 have admitted they "considered suicide" after they heard the news.
Otis, 8, Evie, 10, and Mo Maslin, 12, were on their way home to Perth, Australia, when they boarded the doomed MH17 flight with their grandfather Nick Norris, 68.
Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris had sent their children home early from a family holiday in the Netherlands to start the school term, while they "finalised some matters".
Hours after their children boarded the plane on July 17, 2014, they heard the news that the flight had been shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine.
All 283 passengers and 15 crew on board were killed – including the couple's three children and Maslin's father Norris.
Now, five years after the crash, the children's parents have spoken out about how they considered suicide after they heard the news that the plane had been downed.
Speaking to Australian Story, Norris said: “Where we were was hell."
“Where we are now is a different place, and what we feel we owe to the Australian public is to let you know how we got to where we are now.”
In a heartbreaking on-camera interview that will air on Australian television this week, the pair said they were leaning out the window of their Amsterdam apartment in the early hours of the morning after the crash.
They deliberated whether or not to jump together, but ultimately decided not to, because didn't want to inflict the pain they were feeling on anybody else.
WHAT WAS THE MH17 CRASH?
- Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down shortly after take-off
- All 283 passengers and 15 crew on board were tragically killed during the disaster
- The plane took off on schedule at 12.31pm local time on July 14, 2014
- About an hour and a half later, radar lost contact with the plane somewhere over Eastern Ukraine
- It later eventuated that the plane was shot down and had crashed in a sunflower field in the Ukranian village of Hrabove
Maslin also said that he woke during the night to his phone flashing with missed calls.
He looked at the news and saw many articles about the flight, then checked his booking to confirm the flight number his children were on.
CITIZENS OF THE WORLD
Maslin said: “Our kids were citizens of the world."
“They were really open-minded and really welcoming to all people."
Marite added: “When their innocent bodies were shot out of the sky I stretched my arms as high as I could and screamed for them."
“The love in my heart will always be open for them.
"My arms will always be reaching for them.”
While other family members of the people who died during the crash were contacted by Malaysian Airlines, Maslin and his wife were not.
They eventually made it to Amsterdam's Schipol airport to learn more about the disaster before they returned home to Australia.
Maslin and Norri said that the arrival of their fourth child, Violet, in 2016, helped to ease the heartbreak of the past few years.
The pair still deal with post-traumatic stress disorder from the accident.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost – to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes. And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet, it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun has launched the You're Not Alone campaign. To remind anyone facing a tough time, grappling with mental illness or feeling like there's nowhere left to turn, that there is hope.
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, over the course of this week, we will tell you the stories of brave survivors, relatives left behind, heroic Good Samaritans – and share tips from mental health experts.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others. You're Not Alone.
For a list of support services available, please see the Where To Get Help box below.
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