Airline says 298 dead in crash, 154 from NL

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The current death toll in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that crashed near Donetsk, Ukraine is reported as 298 people, including 283 passengers and 15 crew members. The airline has published a statement listing what is known of the nationalities of the victims. Currently, it is known that a total of 154 Dutch people died on the flight. 

Previous figures stated a death toll was 295, but it is presumed that three infants were not counted in this number. Malaysia has lost 43 people, including 15 crew members and two infants. Australian deaths are 27.

According to reports, several passengers were on their way to Australia to attend an AIDS conference. This was confirmed by the organization on their website. American ex-president Bill Clinton is also set to speak at this conference. One of the passengers was IAS President Joep Lange, a prominent AIDS researcher.

Lange was a professor of medicine and head of the department of global health at the University of Amsterdam. He has been a key researcher in various antiretroviral therapy trials, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the virus. He was traveling with his wife, who also died.

According to Australian newspapers, 108 conference participants may have been on that flight. The conference has expressed its sorrow at the news, and offers condolences to families.

Another Dutch passenger who died in the crash was Cor Pan. He was on his way to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia with his girlfriend Neeltje Tol. He, tragically, joked about the plane's possible disappearance at the gate at Schiphol before take-off. "Should he disappear, this is what he looks like", Pan posted on Facebook.

Other nationalities include Indonesia (12, including one infant), United Kingdom (nine), Germany (four), Belgium (four), Philippines (three), Canada (one). The other 41 passengers' identities have not yet been verified.

Families of Dutch victims are able to contact Malaysia Airlines on +31703487770 for details.