BEIRUT

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Lebanese couple were on board downed jet

Albert Rizk with his son James and his wife Marie. (Raine and Horne Sudbury Facebook)

BEIRUT: A Lebanese couple was among 298 people onboard the Malaysia Airline passenger plane that was downed over Ukraine, a security source said Friday.

They were identified as Albert Rizk and his wife, Marie. Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that a couple holding dual Lebanese-Australian nationality had been aboard.

The Australian newspaper Herald Sun said the couple were due to return home Friday after spending a month-long holiday in Europe. The Rizks have two children and have lived in Melbourne for more than 20 years, it added.

Marie Rizk’s stepmother, Kaylene Mann, lost her brother in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines 370.

“It’s just brought everyone, everything back,” said Greg Burrows, Mann’s brother. “It’s just ... ripped our guts again.” He said his family was struggling to understand how they could be struck by such horrible luck with the same airline.

Members of the Sunbury football club, with which the family were heavily involved, plan to wear black armbands and observe a minute’s silence to honor the Rizks at their game Saturday.

“They were very lovely people,” club President Phil Lithgow said. “You wouldn’t hear a bad word about them.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 19, 2014, on page 8.

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