THE tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has hit hard in Gympie.
The Gympie Times has learned that one of the 283 passengers on board the Boeing 777 was Helena Sidelik (pictured), a Gold Coast woman who was to be a bridesmaid at the upcoming wedding of her close friend, popular and well known Gympie real estate identity Mel Adams.
She was one of 27 Australians, nine of them Queenslanders including two retirees, on board the passenger jet that was shot down over Ukraine on Wednesday night, with the loss of all on board.
Others, including some with Gympie and Sunshine Coast connections, were saved by chance.
Sunshine Coast travellers Sam Stow and Sian Whiley might have been on the jet, but instead took the same route exactly 24 hours earlier, taking advantage of cheaper fares as they returned from a European holiday.
The Gympie Times and its staff extends our genuine sympathy to all those among our readers who are touched by this tragedy.