Chicago woman reportedly on board Malaysia Airlines jet

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The founder of the Malaysian Club of Chicago spoke to Eyewitness News about a report that a Chicago woman was on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

The Malaysian community in Chicago is small, according to Dr. Kim Tee, founding president of the Malaysian Club of Chicago. Dr. Tee says there are about 500 Malaysian families residing in metropolitan Chicago.

Dr. Tee was on his computer and phone checking social media Thursday for any information about the 298 passengers who perished on the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 jetliner that was shot down in the eastern part of Ukraine.

Dr. Tee says the Malaysian community is close-knit, and he spoke with a woman who said that her friend was on the flight, but that she is too distressed to talk to the media.

"I was able to talk to one lady who has a very close friend on that flight and she is very sad and not willing to talk to me, so I am giving her some time to go through the grief," said Dr. Tee

ABC7's Theresa Gutierrez asks: "Is her friend from Chicago who is on that trip?"

"The way she says it, it seems she is from Chicago but I do not want to speculate, I want you guys to hear directly from her," said Dr. Tee.

Dr. Tee says his close-knit community is concerned about the victims

"At this point, our focus is finding out who is on the plane from Chicago," said Dr. Tee. "This is the season that many Malaysian Americans or Malaysian students would fly back from Chicago to Kuala Lumpur for important holiday, July 29."

Dr. Tee says this is really devastating for his community.

"It is very, very sad. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the victims," said Dr. Tee. "At this time, we should concentrate on the victims and their families."

He said if that is confirmed, the Malaysian Club of Chicago will hold a memorial service for the victims.
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