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Dutch community reacts to Malaysia Airlines crash
Of the nearly 300 people on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly 200 were Dutch.
Members of the local Dutch community are now trying to reach family members who live in the Netherlands as well as a group of Americans currently in the Western European country.
The group is with the Schenectady-Nijkerk Council, which Connie Colangelo leads.
It's a cultural exchange. They go and they learn about the culture of the Dutch, they live with the Dutch, they adapt to the Dutch way of living, Colangelo said.
The teens and their chaperone left last week never expecting to be at the center of an international tragedy.
I just, I said, 'I can't believe this,' you know? It's just, this is devastating, Colangelo said.
Colangelo says she got word from the Netherlands that neither the students nor their chaperone were on board but friends of the groups host families were on the plane.
And to have our children over there it's going to be very difficult for these kids because the whole country will come together to mourn, Colangelo said.
The reach of this tragedy is still being realized as people like Colangelo contact those who may have taken that fateful flight.
We're a group of 155 people and it's... There will be a lot of communicating going back and forth to see if anybody that we know is on that plane, Colangelo said.
Colangelo has only been able to reach that group through email and they tell her the tiny country is torn apart by this tragedy.
To put this into perspective the number of Dutch people who died in that crash is relative to the number of Americans killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks.