Tributes for Moray man who was Ukrainian jet victim

Stephen Anderson

Tributes are being made to the Moray man who died when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was brought down over Ukraine on Thursday.

Stephen Anderson was named as one of the 298 people who died when the passenger jet was believed to be struck by a missile as it passed over the Ukraine/Russia border on a flight from Amsterdam.

Mr Anderson, a former search and rescue co-ordinator at RAF Lossiemouth, was one of 10 Britons on the fated flight.

The 44-year-old lived in Penang, Malaysia with his wife Joanna – he was on his way home from a visit to the UK when the aircraft was brought down, it is believed by Russian-backed rebels who mistook the airline for a Ukrainian military transport flight.

Mr Anderson’s daughter, Jordan, lives in Lossiemouth with his ex-wife. ¬†On behalf of his family Kevin Anderson led tributes to his elder brother, saying that the loss had “not sunk in yet”.

He added: “It is one of those things you think will never happen to you – but it has.

“He and Joanna were back at Christmas and we had a great family Christmas together as we do every year. He was such a popular fellow, pretty much everyone in Elgin knew him and he and Joanna loved socialising there.

“He was always easy-going and smiling – nothing was ever a hassle. As a family we will miss him terribly.”

As well as daughter Jordan and brother Kevin, Mr Anderson leaves a sister, Lorraine and parents Leslie and Rosalind and several other family members in Moray and throughout the country.

He moved to Malaysia to work for Aberdeen-based oil company Maersk for whom a spokesman said: “It is with great sadness we have received confirmation from Stephen’s family that he was on the passenger list and presumed dead.

“Our thoughts go out to his family and colleagues and we will make every effort possible to support and assist the family.”

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond sent his sympathy to Mr Anderson’s family, saying: “We have learned today that one Scot is known to have died in this appalling atrocity.

“As we prepare to welcome the Commonwealth Games to Scotland, we should note that around a third of the 298 victims came from Commonwealth nations.

“On behalf of the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland, I extend my condolences to their family, and to the families of all of the victims who have died in this horrific event.”

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