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UPDATE 5PM: A Toorak College teacher and her husband are the latest of nine Victorians confirmed dead in the MH17 plane disaster.
The couple are among the nine Victorians in the crash, which also killed Sunbury’s Albert and Maree Rizk. Former University of Melbourne student Elaine Teoh is also dead.
Toorak College confirmed the loss of Frankie and Liam Davison in a Facebook statement on Friday afternoon. The couple had two children.
"We are devastated by the news of this tragedy. Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with Frankie’s family and friends"
Nine Victorians are among the 28 Australians killed in the MH17 plane disaster.
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine confirmed the death toll, expressing sympathy to family and loved ones of the victims."This is a sad and tragic day, not just for Victorians, but for all people and all nations,’’ he said.
‘‘The shooting down of a passenger aircraft full of innocent civilians is an unspeakable act that will forever leave a dark stain on our history.''Sunbury couple Albert and Maree Rizk are believed to have been returning from a month-long holiday in Europe.
The couple have two children and have lived in the Sunbury area for more than 20 years, where they were believed to be involved with a number of local sporting clubs.
Sunbury Football Club president Phil Lithgow told Fairfax Media that the Rizks, who were both in their early 50s, were travelling with friends in Europe and were due back in Australia today.
“They were with friends and their friends got on an earlier flight,” he said.
Former University of Melbourne student Elaine Teoh was also killed in the crash.
Ms Teoh's brother David Teoh Qi-en posted the following statement on Facebook from Kuala Lumpur: "While I understand public opinions and comments on MH17, I urge my friends to remain wise and calm when talking about it and also keep my family and I in prayer as we are going through these tough times. Your prayers and thoughtfulness will be very much appreciated".
The University of Melbourne said in a statement that it was shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of life. Ms Teoh graduated from the university with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2008.
Zack Jones, a friend of Ms Teoh’s, posted on Twitter on Friday morning: “I have no words ... I’ve just heard the news that my friend, @elaineteoh was on flight #MH17’’.
Dr Napthine said there may be a number of permanent Victorian residents, who hold foreign passports, killed in the disaster.
The Australian death toll from the tragedy has risen to 28, including nine Queenslanders, one person from NSW, one from the ACT and seven from WA.
There are fears that number may rise.
Toowoomba pathologist Roger Guard and his wife Jill are among the nine Queenslanders aboard the MH17. They were on their way home from Europe. Dr Guard was the director of pathology at the Toowoomba Base Hospital.
Also confirmed dead is NSW nun Sister Philomene Tiernan, a Catholic nun and teacher at eastern Sydney Catholic school Kincoppal in Rose Bay.
Perth man Nick Norris and three of his grandchildren are among those seven WA victims.Canberra resident and mother-of-two Liliane Derden, 50, also died on the flight.
UPDATE 4PM: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed the number of Australians killed in the MH17 tragedy had risen to 28 after a meeting with Russian ambassador Vladimir Morozov in Sydney on Friday afternoon, reports SMH State Political Correspondent Sean Nicholls.
Ms Bishop said she told the ambassador that the Australian people and government were "devastated by the news".
"I asked him for Russia’s explanation as to how a commercial plane could come down from that altitude over eastern Ukraine," she said.
"I asked that Russia give its unqualified support for a full, thorough, credible, international, independent investigation into the downing of this flight."
Ms Bishop also sought Russia's "unqualified support" for UN security council resolutions to "facilitate such an investigation".
"What we intend to establish through the UN security council is an investigation that will get to the bottom of who is responsible for this unspeakable crime and that they be brought to account."
She also sought support for seeking a ceasefire to retrieve the bodies and debris relevant to the investigation.
Mr Morozov "provided that unqualified support … and assured me Russia would do what it could to find those responsible".
Ms Bishop said the ambassador denied Russian involvement in the incident.
"I also asked him about whether Russian equipment – military weapons and the like, surface-to-air missiles – could have been involved and he said not to his knowledge," Ms Bishop said.
She added that the government was still checking passports against the plane’s manifest and that the figure of 28 Australians "could be higher".
The government would release the full list of names after it was in touch with their families and friends, she said.
UPDATE 1.45pm: Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has confirmed nine Victorians are among those killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
"It is with deep regret that I can now confirm nine Australian nationals from Victoria are among those who have been killed in the MH17 tragedy," he said in a statement.
"I would again like to express my heartfelt sympathy for the families, friends and loved ones of these victims.
"The Victorian government will provide any assistance and support possible to the affected families."
EARLIER: Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has released this statement after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing 298 people, including 27 Australians:
On behalf of all Victorians, I express our deepest condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of all 298 victims who were aboard the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight.
I can confirm that MH17 was to connect with MH129 arriving in Melbourne this evening.
Among the passengers were medical experts travelling to Melbourne for the International Aids Conference that was to officially begin tomorrow.
Unfortunately, I can now confirm that a number of Victorians are among those who have been killed, although we are not yet in a position to say how many.
This is a sad and tragic day, not just for Victorians, but for all people and all nations. The shooting down of a passenger aircraft full of innocent civilians is an unspeakable act that will forever leave a dark stain on our history.
The Victorian Government stands ready to provide assistance to affected families and to the Commonwealth following this tragedy.
As hosts of the International Aids Conference, my office has been in contact with conference organisers and has offered to cooperate with DFAT to provide assistance to any delegates who require support at this difficult time.
Anyone requiring further information or assistance is encouraged to phone the DFAT hotline on 1300 555 135 within Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas.
Click here for live coverage from The Age.
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