Elsemiek de Borst is one of the 293 victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy. Her father, Hans de Borst, made headlines after composing an open letter on Facebook to Vladimir Putin, pro-Russian Separatists and the Ukrainian government for their possible roles in the crash and, ultimately, the death of his only child.
Here’s what you need to know about Elsemiek:
1. She Wanted to Study Engineering
According to her father’s letter, de Borst wanted to study engineering after finishing her final school exams. He said:
Elsemiek would have done her final school exams next year, together with her best friend Julia and Marina, she did so good in school!
After that she wanted to go to the “Technical University Delft” to study engineering, she was looking forward to it!
But suddenly she is not here anymore! She has been shot out of the sky, in an unknown country, where there is a war going on!
2. She Was With Her Mother, Brother and Step-Father
In the open letter, Hans de Borst said Elsemiek was headed on vacation with family. He wrote:
Thank you very much mister Putin, leaders of the separatists or the Ukraine government!
For murdering my loved and only child, Elsemiek de Borst!
She was 17 years old, 5th “gymnasium” student at the “Segbroek College” in Den Haag.
And she was on her way to her holiday in Maleisië together with her little brother, her mom (my ex-wife) and her stepfather.
3. She Was 1 of 193 Dutch Nationals Killed on Flight MH17
The total number of people killed on flight MH17 is 298, 193 of which were Dutch. De Borst and her mother were just two of many that were killed when the plane was shot down. Another Dutch teenager, Gary Slok was also on the flight with his mother. A picture of the two was recovered.
4. Her School Held a Memorial for her
De Borst was a student at Segbroek College in the Hague. The school held a memorial for their student, ” in the presence of her father, uncle and grandparents, during an informal meeting,” according to the English translation of the post on the school’s website.
5. Elsemiek Was Hans de Borst’s Only Child
De Borst refers to his daughter in his open letter as his “loved and only child.” In an interview with the BBC, De Borst criticized the lack of action taken by Dutch officials, saying, “If there were Americans or Russians on board, troops would have been sent in. Even if it’s just a sock, I want to see something.”