President Obama confirmed that at least one American citizen was killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down, he said in a speech on Friday. An Indiana University doctoral student was killed as well.
Quinn Lucas Schansman was the known American citizen on board. He had dual Dutch-US citizenship, according to a State Department spokesperson. Dutch news source RTV NH reported that Schansman was heading to Malaysia for vacation, as BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski tweeted. A Facebook page appearing to belong to Schansman notes he was an international business school student in Amsterdam.
“He was kind,’’ a friend of Schansman’s said in a message to NBC News. “He stuck up for you and made you laugh when he saw there was something wrong.’’
In a statement, Indiana University said that Karlijn Keijzer, 25, was “an outstanding student and a talented athlete, and her passing is a loss to the campus and the university.’’ Keijzer was one of the 154 Dutch citizens who perished in the crash, the school told the Indianapolis Star.
Keijzer’s doctoral advisor, Mu-Hyun Baik, described Keijzer as a “bright, talented doctoral student, a diligent researcher and a dear friend … she was a kind, happy young woman full of ideas about the future.’’
Keijzer was also a dedicated member of the school’s rowing team in 2011, when she earned her master’s degree. She earned Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete honor and Academic All-Big Ten accolades, the school said. She rowed in the European Rowing Junior Championships in 2006 and the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2007.
In Obama’s speech, he called the plane’s demise “a global tragedy’’ and an “outrage of unspeakable proportions,’’ and asked for an international investigation. In addition, he recommended an immediate ceasefire between Russia, Ukraine, and Ukrainian separatists.
He referred to it as a “wake up call’’ to the rest of the world. “It’s very important for us to make sure we don’t get out ahead of the facts,’’ he said. “No one can deny the truth revealed in the awful images we have seen.’’