Student is identified as jet crash victim

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A British student has been formally identified as one of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 air crash over Ukraine in July.

Ben Pocock, 20, from Keynsham, Bristol, was a second year international business degree student at Loughborough University.

He was flying out to begin a professional placement and to study abroad at the University of Western Australia in Perth as part of his third year.

All 298 people on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur died when the jet was shot down over an area of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists.

The victims of the crash, which happened on July 17, included 10 Britons, 43 Malaysians and 195 Dutch nationals. . In a statement issued through Avon and Somerset Police today, Mr Pocock’s parents, Jeremy and Louise, said their son had been formally identified.

“We can confirm that Ben was a victim of the disaster,” they said.

“We would like to thank all those who have sent us messages of support and tributes to Ben, and we would ask to be allowed to grieve and come to terms with our loss.”

Speaking after the tragedy, Mr Pocock’s family paid tribute to him in a statement to the Press Association.

“He was a gifted academic, talented athlete but more importantly a warm, caring, fun-loving son and brother who had an extremely bright future ahead of him,” they said.

Malaysia Airlines previously identified the nationalities of the 298 people onboard the doomed flight.

After the crash, tributes were paid to the 10 Britons who were killed in the crash.

John Alder, in his 60s, was a lifelong Newcastle United supported who was travelled to see the club play on a pre-season tour of New Zealand.

Mr Alder, from Gateshead, was known as the Undertaker “because he always wore a black suit and white shirt to every match”, his neighbour Margaret Bambra, 66, said.

Liam Sweeney, 28, was also travelling to see Newcastle United’s pre-season tour. Friend Andrew Phillips, 21, said: “He was a spot-on kid, no bother at all, it’s such a sad day.”

Former BBC journalist Glenn Thomas, 49, had been a media officer for the World Health Organisation in Geneva for more than a decade and was travelling to an international Aids conference.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib described Mr Thomas, originally from Blackpool, as “a wonderful person and a great professional”.

Richard Mayne, 20, from Leicester, was studying maths and finance at Leeds University, where he was a member of the rugby union club and Raise and Give society.

“Richard had a great thirst for life and he wanted to make the world a better place,” his former headmaster John Wood of the Dixie Grammar School said.

Helicopter rescue pilot Cameron Dalziel, 43, is understood to have been South African but travelling on a British passport.

Mr Dalziel, a father-of-two, moved to Malaysia last October with his family to take up a job with CHC Helicopter. His brother, Shane Hattingh told Eye Witness News: “It’s crazy, the kids are going to be absolutely shattered.”

Stephen Anderson, 44, a former RAF search and rescue co-ordinator, grew up and worked in Scotland before moving to Penang in Malaysia with his wife Joanna, 37, four years ago.

His niece wrote tributes to the father-of-one on Twitter with the message: “You didn’t deserve to die. No one on that flight did. I love you so much.”

Robert Ayley, 28, a married father-of-two, was British-born but had settled in New Zealand. The dog breeder was returning home following a trip to Europe.

In a statement his family said they were “desperately sad” to confirm he had been on the flight.

John Allen died alongside his Dutch wife Sandra Martens and their three sons Christopher, Julian and Ian, who were all listed as being of Dutch nationality.

Mr Allen was described as a “much-loved colleague” with many talents by friends at international law firm NautaDutilh, where he had worked for 18 years.

Andrew Hoare, 59, died with his Dutch wife and their two sons Friso and Jasper, who were 12 and 14 and of Dutch nationality.

His brother Hugo told the BBC that his brother, who worked in banking and grew up in Somerset, was a “warm, funny and wonderful man whose smile and character lit up a room”.