WHO official Glenn Thomas, one of ten Britons killed in crash, was travelling to Australia to attend international Aids conference.
By Martin Williams.WHO official Glenn Thomas has been formally identified as one of the Britons killed in the MH17 crash. Photograph: WHO/PA
A British man who died when flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine has been formally identified as Glenn Thomas, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official.
The 49-year-old, who was a former BBC journalist, had been travelling to Australia to attend the international Aids conference in Melbourne. He was one of 10 British victims killed in the tragedy.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the formal identification of another British victim of Flight MH17, Glenn Thomas.
“His family have been informed. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. We continue to provide consular assistance to the family.”
Thomas, who lived in Geneva and worked as a media officer for WHO, leaves behind his partner, Claudio, and twin sister, Tracey. His family are making plans for his body to be returned to Blackpool, the BBC said.
His sister has paid tribute to Thomas, saying there was “no uncle or brother like him in the world”. She told the Blackpool Gazette last month: “I can’t believe it – he was the most generous, kind person who always thought about others first. Everyone that knew him knew what he was like – there’s not a bad word to say about him.”
She said: “He had never been to Australia before and he was so excited. He loved life and was doing what he does best – travelling.”
His nephew, Jordan, told the paper: “Through all his life the one thing he said to me was go to university and go travelling. The one place he hadn’t been was Australia and obviously that’s where he was going for a conference.”
Last week, hundreds of people attended the funeral of Newcastle United fan Liam Sweeney, who was the first British victim of MH17 to be formally identified. The club’s manager and captain joined family and friends for the service at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle.
The International Aids Society (IAS) named Thomas last month as one of six delegates killed in the disaster. At the time of his death, WHO’s spokeswoman, Fadela Chaib, said: “We have lost a wonderful person and a great professional. Our hearts are broken. We are all in shock.”
IAS president, Franoise Barrinoussi, said at the time: “The extent of our loss is hard to comprehend or express. We grieve alongside all of those throughout the world who have lost friends and family in this senseless tragedy.”
Others attending the conference who were killed include delegates from Aids Action Europe, Stop Aids Now!, HIV Netherlands Australia Research Collaboration and the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development.
Fighting has engulfed Ukraine’s separatist east and its government has repeatedly accused Russia of stirring up trouble within its borders.
In the latest development, Ukraine security services has released a video of 10 Russian paratroopers it claimed were captured while fighting alongside pro-Moscow rebels in the east of the country.
However, Russia has always denied supporting and arming rebels in the region.