Ground steward Renuka Manisha Virangna Birbal gave her final farewell to the passengers of MH17 as they boarded the plane at Amsterdam airport.
The woman who is reported to be one of the last people to see all the passengers alive took to Facebook overnight to share her story. It has since been shared more than 8,000 times.
In her post, she details explicitly those final moments and the devastating impact it has had on her since news emerged that the plane had crashed killing all 298 passengers on board. Holland’s largest daily morning newspaper, De Telegraaf reported and translated the message written in Dutch.
“A smile, a greeting, a happy face ..
At the transfer desk, I get two football fanatics, one is checked in and the other not.
“Can you check me in, love”?
They were not seated next to each other in the business compartment.
“Would you like to sit together, sir?”
“Any doubt, I want a few hours of r est,” joked the other one. “Cheers".
A loving family of six with their 10 pieces luggage.
“After long time we’re returning home”.
A child smiling and waving at me.
The crew running towards me, waving and signalling.
A man who is about to start a new life in Malaysia.
A family get dropped off by their grandparents, kids first holiday far away.
Grandma takes photos of her children and grandchildren checking in. This time I do not mind that I am in the picture.
Arriving at gate G03 a young man asked if he has time to buy something quickly.
“Of course, sir, if only you ensure that you are back here at 1130”.
My colleague helps an elderly woman inside, all the way to her seat in row 21, she had difficulty walking and travelling alone.
A newly married couple, on the way to their honeymoon.
A beautiful little girl held by her mother, her father behind them pushing the stroller. She is beautiful; a half Dutch, half Malaysian with beautiful big eyes. She kindly smiled at me.
A man who joined the flight to be on time for the funeral of his mother.
Grandchildren travelling with their grandparents.
Suddenly I see a familiar face, it is our colleague from the MH ticket counter.
He proudly shows me his son, wife and daughter. With a big smile he waved “See you soon”.
A woman wants to go out of the gate to go to the toilet. Unfortunately, we have already begun boarding and nobody can go out. “May I board first then?”
A final farewell to the crew, till next time!
And then we removed the bridge.
Passengers travelling for business, on the way home, on the way to family, on the way to their holiday, on the way to a new beginning ...
Families, couples, individuals, infants, children, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, partners, uncles, aunts, colleagues, friends, neighbours, acquaintances.
The last time I saw them, talked to them and wished them a pleasant flight, the passengers of flight MH017 on 17Jul14.
One last smile, one last salute, a happy face ...
+ Rest in peace dear passengers & crew +
On behalf of the ground handling agents of flight MH017 on Thursday 17-07-2014