Jul 18, 2014 5:43 PM GMT
((The "108" estimate in the lede is coming down significantly, but whatever the final number, it's still expected to be a lot.))
JezebelAccording to the Telegraph, delegates already gathered in Melbourne for pre-conference meetings were informed of the deaths of 108 of their colleagues after the plane was downed by a surface-to-air missile yesterday.
Among the dead are World Health Organization advisor Glenn Thomas, as well as research giant and lauded humanitarian Dr. Joep Lange and his wife, Jacqueline van Tongeren, who has been researching AIDS for three decades. Dr. Lange has written more than 350 papers and spent his career fighting for access to low-cost AIDS treatment in Africa.
Wall Street JournalSome news reports estimated that the number of people on board the flight who were en route to the 2014 International Aids Conference in Melbourne, which is scheduled to begin this weekend, was as high as 100 or one third of the 298 people on board. But as of midnight Australia time on Friday, conference organizers said they had only been able to confirm seven names.
"We have been working hard to try and confirm how many people were on the flight. We've been speaking to a number of different authorities, and we think the actual number is much smaller," said Chris Beyrer, who will take over the presidency of the International AIDS Society at the end of the global conference next week.