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School mourns air crash victim

Tragic loss:  Malaysian air crash investigators take pictures of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, yesterday. Below - Glenn Thomas from South Shore, who was killed in the tragedy

Tragic loss: Malaysian air crash investigators take pictures of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, yesterday. Below - Glenn Thomas from South Shore, who was killed in the tragedy

Pupils at the former secondary school of a Blackpool man who was killed in the Ukraine air disaster fell silent to remember his life and work.

Glenn Thomas, 49, a former Highfield Humanities College pupil, was one of 298 people killed when the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot down over Ukraine last Thursday.

Bosses at the school on Highfield Road, which Mr Thomas attended with his twin sister Tracey, and which his niece and nephew went on to attend, said they were shocked and saddened to hear of his death.

Pupils at the school were told of his death and the work he had done around the world after leaving the school, before being invited to join a moment’s silence to honour him.

Deputy headteacher Peter Westhorpe said:“Highfield is a very close community and it is fair to say we were shocked to hear of the death of Mr Thomas in the tragic event in The Ukraine.

“We spoke to all of our pupils and about Glenn’s life and his important role in the World Heath Organisation.

“We also asked our pupils to remember Glenn’s family who are suffering so much at this time.

“While we spoke to our pupils and staff our entire school came to silence as we remembers the life of one of our Highfield boys.”

School bosses said they hoped the well wishes of the school community would provide some support to Mr 
Thomas’ grieving family.

Mr Westhorpe added: “We are so proud of Glenn, who left us more than 30 years ago and who went on to do so much good. I spoke earlier this week with Glenn’s niece Brittany Withers who told me that she and the whole family had taken great strength from all the good wishes and kind thoughts that have been so abundant.

“We always tell pupils that when the leave us in Year 11 they always remain Highfield pupils. So our prayers and thoughts go to Glenn’s family from all at this school.”

Today the first 40 bodies from the crash site arrived in the Netherlands, while the Air Accident Investigation Branch in the UK began examining the plane’s black boxes.

And victims of the MH17 plane crash will be remembered at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Blackpool man Glenn Thomas, 49, a media officer at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, was among 298 people killed.

The Malaysia 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, are being recognised.

Speaking at a daily media briefing ahead of the ceremony, 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 flight, which disappeared after leaving Kuala Lumpur in March, he added: “It’s a terrible thing to have two tragedies within months of each other.”

 

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