Among the most heartbreaking aspects of this disaster is an Australian family that is believed to have lost two loved ones in this latest crash after two other family members disappeared on the mysterious Malaysia Airlines flight six months ago.
A high number of those killed in Thursday's crash were heading to an AIDS conference in Australia. Also, an inordinate number of passengers were reportedly children, more than 80.
Here's a look at what we've learned so far about the lives lost in the plane crash in eastern Ukraine.
A lone Canadian was on board the downed flight: Andrei Anghel, 24 of Ajax, Ont.
A 2012 University of Waterloo graduate of the biomedical science program, Anghel was en route to Bali, Indonesia, for vacation, his father told CBC News.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Anghel was pursuing further education at a Romanian university, the Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
Two-thirds of the passengers on the KualaLumpur-bound flight departing from Amsterdam were from the Netherlands, at 189.
The most prominent is Joep Lange, a clinical researcher specializing in HIV therapy, who was en route to Melbourne for the 20th International AIDS conference, which begins Sunday.
His death shocked the world of AIDS research, where he is seen as a giant in the field. He's known for his tireless advocacy of giving HIV positive patients in poor countries access to affordable drugs.
"Joep was a man who knew no barriers," Amsterdam's Academic Medical Centre hospital said in a statement. "He was a great inspiration for everybody who wanted to do something about the AIDS tragedy in Africa and Asia."
His colleague, Jacqueline van Tongeren, was also believed to have died on the flight, as well as a World Health Organization spokesman travelling to the conference.
Another Dutchman, Richard van Vreeswijk, posted a heart-rending entry on Facebook about his young son, Huub, who died in the crash.
"Huub was to start driving lessons," said van Vreeswijk. "My heart bleeds and bleeds and bleeds at the thought of what he will never do and will never see."
One of the most poignant tragedies of the crash is an Australia family who lost a son and daughter-in-law on the missing MH370 flight and now believes they've lost two more family members in this latest Malaysia Airlines crash.
Kaylene Mann lost brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary in the March disappearance of Flight MH370. Now a step-daughter, Maree Rizk and her husband, Albert, of Melbourne are believed to have also been killed.
"It's just brought everyone, everything back," said Greg Burrows, the brother of Rod and Kaylene, to Australia's Courier Mail. "It's just ... ripped our guts again."
Twenty-seven of those on board Flight MH17 were Australian.
Two of the nine Britons — John Alder and Liam Sweeney — killed in the crash were en route to see their beloved Newcastle United team play in New Zealand.
The North East club issued a statement calling Sweeney and Alder "two of the club's most loyal supporters."
"Both men were familiar faces at every Newcastle United away game," the statement quoted in the Daily Mail said.
A rescue helicopter pilot who recently moved to Malaysia with his family to spend more time with them was also among the dead.
Cameron Dalziel, 43, was married with two sons, aged four and 14. The South African citizen worked for years as a rescue helicopter pilot in Mozambique. He's reportedly flown choppers all around the world and after 10 years of being away from his family, he was moving to Malaysia to start an operation there so they could see each other more.
Dalziel's brother-in-law, Shane Hattingh, said Dalziel's wife, Reine, is so traumatized she can't even speak.
"She is basically there [in Malaysia] alone other than with new friends," he said. "It's crazy. ... The kids are going to be absolutely shattered."
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