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Games opening ceremony to pay tribute to victims of Malaysian Airlines crash

Victims of the MH17 plane crash will be remembered at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on Wednesday night.

David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014
David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014

The Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down while flying over a rebel-held area of Ukraine last Thursday, with no survivors from the 298 people on board.

A large number of those were from Commonwealth countries and they, as well as the other victims, will be recognised.

Speaking at a daily media briefing ahead of the ceremony, HRH Prince Imran from Malaysia, the Commonwealth Games Federation's president, said: "I am from Malaysia and it's another sad occasion for our country, and for the airline."

Referencing the MH370, which disappeared after leaving Kuala Lumpur in March, he added: "It's a terrible thing to have two tragedies within months of each other. As I understand it there will be some recognition."

David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, added: "We will be paying tribute."

Details, in keeping with the rest of the ceremony, are being kept under wraps.

Grevemberg also said tickets do remain for some sports, but that sales from inside Scotland and beyond had been excellent.

"We have box offices opening and I can't give a figure (on total sales) but there is availability across some of the sessions," he said. "There has been fantastic demand and we have sold over 1.1million tickets, which is brilliant. Recently we were at 95 per cent and that will improve."

The outgoing chief executive of the CGF, Mike Hooper, said: "This just shows how much the people of Scotland, Glasgow and the UK have embraced these Games. It's exceeded expectations."

Fifty-seven per cent of tickets have been sold to Scots, with 40 per cent sold in the UK and three per cent overseas, Grevemberg approximate.

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