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Malaysia Airlines staff “affected mentally” by double tragedy

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The double tragedy involving Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has left its employees struggling to cope with the disasters as they deal with low morale, job security and a fear of flying.

Just four months after Malaysian Airlines MH370 went missing with 239 passengers and crew on board, the second tragedy of commercial flight MH17 – which was shot down over Ukraine airspace with a total of 298 people on board – has severely impacted the emotional well-being of MAS employees.

Ismail Nasaruddin, president of the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia, said there have been reports of crew members being unable to fly because they were “affected mentally”, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“This is something I think a lot of our crew members are unable to accept at this moment in time … we cannot believe that this incident could happen in such a short period and it happened to Malaysia Airlines again,” he said at a press conference at Kuala Lumpur International Airport last Saturday, The Guardian reported.

“The crew members [have been] demoralised by this tragic incident.”

Hariyati Shahrima Abdul Majid, a counselor with Mercy Malaysia, told the WSJ many employees have had their memories of the devastating loss of MH370 “triggered” by this latest tragedy.

Hariyait, who is part of a medical relief organisation which is helping flight attendants cope with the loss of their colleagues, also stated the airline is providing “full support” to staff and their well-being is being closely monitored by senior management.

Malaysia Airlines is yet to respond to Human Resources‘ request for a comment on this matter.

However, in a media statement, the airline said its “top priority remains to provide care and assistance to the families of the passengers and crew”.

Also read: Singapore Airlines apologises for tweet

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