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Employer pays tribute to Scottish man in Malaysian Airline crash

Tributes have been paid to a former RAF search and rescue co-ordinator who was on board the Malaysia Airlines plane apparently shot down over Ukraine.

Clockwise from main: victims of the crash included Scottish man Stephen Anderson, pictured with his wife Joanna; Karlijn Keijzer; Glenn Thomas; Liam Sweeney; and John Alder
Clockwise from main: victims of the crash included Scottish man Stephen Anderson, pictured with his wife Joanna; Karlijn Keijzer; Glenn Thomas; Liam Sweeney; and John Alder

Stephen Anderson's employer Maersk Drilling confirmed that he was on the passenger list of the doomed MH17 passenger jet.

All 298 people, including 10 Britons, on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed.

Mr Anderson spent 23 years with the RAF, including running the search and rescue team at Lossiemouth in Scotland for three years.

He moved to Penang in Malaysia four years ago with his wife Joanna, 37, where he worked as a technician for Maersk Drilling.

In a statement Maersk Drilling said: "On Thursday 17 July 2014 at 17.15 CET, we received the news that Malaysian airlines plane MH17 had crashed over Ukraine on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

"It shortly after became evident that one of our colleagues in Maersk Drilling, Stephen Leslie Anderson, was booked on the plane, and it's with great sadness that we today, 19 July 2014, received confirmation from Stephen Leslie Anderson's family that he was on the passenger list and is presumed dead.

"Our thoughts go out to Stephen Leslie Anderson's family and his colleagues on board Maersk Deliverer, and we will make every effort possible to support and assist family and colleagues.

"Stephen and his wife Joanna were together for 15 years and the whole family spent last Christmas together. Stephen has left behind a beautiful daughter and a loving family."

Mr Anderson was reportedly Scottish and a former pupil of Inverness Royal Academy.

A spokeswoman for RAF Lossiemouth declined to comment.

A former colleague described him as a "quiet, decent, hard-working guy who'd do anything for anyone".

An investigation is under way into the apparent shooting down of flight MH17 by Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, as the UK stepped up calls for tougher sanctions.

First Minister Alex Salmond said an international investigation into the incident must take place "quickly and effectively".

In a statement he said: "We have learned that one Scot is known to have died in this appalling atrocity.

"As we prepare to welcome the Commonwealth Games to Scotland, we should note that around one-third of the 298 victims came from Commonwealth nations.

"On behalf of the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland, I extend my condolences to their family, and to the families of all of the victims who have died in this horrific event.

"It is now vitally important that an international investigation into the cause of the crash proceeds swiftly and effectively, and that investigation teams are given full access to the crash site.

"The Scottish Government is in touch with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ensure that any and all relevant expertise and experience in Scotland will be made available to the investigation now and in the coming weeks."

Among the other British victims were Newcastle United fans John Alder, 63, and Liam Sweeney, 28, who were travelling to New Zealand to watch the team's pre-season tour.

Alder, from Gateshead, was known as the Undertaker "because he always wore a black suit and white shirt to every match", his neighbour said.

Glenn Thomas, 49, a press officer at the World Health Organisation (WHO) and former BBC journalist, Loughborough University student Ben Pocock, 20, and Leeds University student Richard Mayne, 20, from Leicestershire, were also on board.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said: "We have lost a wonderful person and a great professional. Our hearts are broken. We are all in shock."

Student Mayne was originally from Leicester but was studying maths and finance at Leeds University.

International business student Pocock, of Keynsham, Bristol, was in his second year at Loughborough University. He was flying out to begin a professional placement at the University of Western Australia in Perth as part of his third year.

Helicopter rescue pilot and father-of-two Cameron Dalziel, 43, is understood to be South African but was travelling on a British passport.He moved to Malaysia with his wife Reine, and their two sons Sheldon, 14, and four-year-old Cruz, to take up a job with CHC Helicopter.

It is understood Dalziel had been sent for training in the Netherlands and was returning home.

The eighth victim was last night confirmed as Robert Ayley, a father-of-two living in New Zealand but originally from Guildford, Surrey who was travelling on a British passport.

He was returning home to his wife Sharlene and two sons, aged two and four, in Wellington, following a working trip to Europe.

The official passenger list from Malaysia Airlines, released last night, also confirmed solicitor John Allen, 44, who was Dutch-based, and Andrew Hoare, were from the UK.

Around 100 of those killed were scientists, researchers and activists on their way to an international conference on Aids in Melbourne, Australia - including renowned researcher Joep Lange, described as "a giant" in Aids research.

The International Aids Society said the conference is going ahead and will "honour their commitment".

Figures released by Malaysia Airlines showed the plane was carrying 192 Dutch nationals, 44 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines, and one each from Canada and New Zealand.

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