Local reaction: 298 believed dead in Malaysian plane crash - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Local reaction: 298 believed dead in Malaysian plane crash

Malaysian business owner Alvin Liew reads a text message he received from his sister about the plane. Malaysian business owner Alvin Liew reads a text message he received from his sister about the plane.
MASON, OH (FOX19) -

The Straits of Malacca restaurant in Mason has been a central gathering place for the Tri-State Malaysian community over the last four months as they continue to pray for passengers of Flight 370, the plane that disappeared on its way to Bejing in March.

Now those community members say news of a second tragedy is almost unbelievable.

"Malaysian jet shot down over Ukraine 295 dead," read Malaysian business owner Alvin Liew from a text message he received from his sister Thursday afternoon.

It is the last headline he wanted to read. A Malaysian airline passenger plane reportedly shot down on its way to his home city Kuala Lumpur.

[Related: Officials say Malaysia Airline plane was shot down]

"If you shoot a war plane down it's okay. But these people are passengers. They don't know. They are just passengers. How could you shoot them down?" said Liew.

"Actually I was looking at that same route to go home in December. I was looking for cheap flights and that was the cheapest one two weeks ago," said Liew's sister Susan Giovengo.

Alvin and Susan have both traveled Malaysian Airlines on several occasions. Their home country is still grieving missing Malaysian Flight 370. Now reports of a missile bringing down a second plane are hard to believe.

"Definitely concerned about my country and my government. How are they going to deal with this? The last thing I want is for us to get pulled into any political unrest or anything like that," said Giovengo.

Four months, two planes, one airline and a community struck once again by tragedy.

"I don't know what to say anymore. I wish I could help but all we can do is pray," said Liew.

So far, reports suggest there were at least 23 Malaysians on board Flight 17.

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