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IU Student On Malaysia Air Flight That Crashed In Ukraine

Karlijn Keijzer was a doctoral student at Indiana University who was originally from Amsterdam.


An Indiana University doctoral student was on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that crashed in Ukraine yesterday, university officials confirm.  All 295 people on board were killed.

Karlijn Keijzer, 25, was from a city just outside Amsterdam, and the flight was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

She was a doctoral student in the IU chemistry department. She was also a member of the women’s rowing team during the 2011 season.

In a statement, IU President Michael McRobbie extended his condolences to Keijzer’s family.

“On behalf of the entire Indiana University community, I want to express my deepest sympathies to Karlijn’s family and friends over her tragic death,” Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie said. “Karlijn was an outstanding student and a talented athlete, and her passing is a loss to the campus and the university. Our hearts also go out to the families of all the victims of this senseless act.”

U.S. officials suspect a surface-to-air missile hit the airliner, causing it to crash in Donetsk, the disputed region in Eastern Ukraine that is in the midst of fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine government.

The Guardian reports that airlines have been told to stay out of the region.

In a statement the CAA said that after the MH17 disaster airlines had been told by the European air traffic control body to avoid the region: “The Ukrainian authorities are responsible for managing their airspace and the UK or other countries cannot enforce airspace restrictions in the area. However, the CAA has previously issued advice to UK airlines on operating in this area and following this incident, Eurocontrol has issued advice to airlines to plan routes that avoid the area.

Malaysia Airlines is offering money to the flight victims’ families,  according to NPR.

Malaysia Airlines executive Huib Gorter says that an “initial cash payment of $5,000 per passenger” is being offered to the victims’ next of kin, to help them with expenses as they cope with the aftermath of Thursday’s crash.

In a news conference at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, Gorter said that Malaysia Airlines and other international carriers had been using the same route, making the crash a “tragic incident that could have happened to any of us.”

More About Karlijn Keijzer And Other Condolences


Keijzer was a member of IU’s Varsity 8 boat during the 2011 season, helping the team to a 14-5 record. She earned Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association  Scholar-Athlete honors as well as Academic All-Big Ten accolades following the 2011 season.

A decorated junior rower, Keijzer participated in the European Rowing Junior Championships in 2006 and the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2007.

“The Indiana Rowing family is deeply saddened by the news of Karlijn’s sudden passing,” Indiana head rowing coach Steve Peterson said. “She came to us for one year as a graduate student and truly wanted to pursue rowing. That year was the first year we really started to make a mark with the First Varsity 8 boat and she was a huge reason for it. She was a phenomenal student and loved IU so much that she stayed here after she earned her master’s degree. Our condolences go out to her family and friends in this very tough time.”

Many students also took to Twitter to express their thoughts.

Will Healey contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated Keijzer received her master’s degree from IU. That information was based on an IU press release, but the university has since said she did not get her master’s there.

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