The nephew of a Blackpool man killed in the MH17 air disaster visited the country where the plane crashed as part of a documentary due to be shown on BBC One tonight.
Jordan Withers agreed to present the half-hour programme in honour of his uncle, Glenn Thomas, who was among 298 people killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane came down over war-torn Ukraine in July.
The 23-year-old, of Freemantle Avenue, South Shore, said he took on the role in a quest to “find answers” about the tragedy after being approached by a BBC journalist.
He told The Gazette: “We met up with a couple of different families and met some people who had been to the crash site. I was a bit nervous going to the Ukraine.
“It was too dangerous to go the to the crash site but we went to Kiev – it was a bittersweet experience.”
He said it was en emotional experience talking to other families who have been affected by the disaster.
Most of the people on board the flight were Dutch so Mr Withers and the television crew spent time in the Netherlands during the two weeks they spent filming before Christmas.
He added: “It rakes up old ground, especially meeting other families who only received part of a hip back from a relative.
“It made me feel lucky – at least I got my uncle back.
“I don’t want the world to stop just because I have lost someone but in the Netherlands they are getting information that we are not getting.
“I want to bring it back into the public eye.
“It was nice to be able to do something about Glenn as well. It’s something I feel so privileged to do, to be able to share my story.”
The full 30-minute show will be broadcast in the North West for BBC’s Inside Out programme at 7.30pm. It will be repeated nationally on BBC Two on January 29 at 11.20pm.
Still looking for answers over MH17 plane tragedy
Glenn Thomas was one of 283 passengers who lost their lives – along with 15 crew members –when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed on July 17 last year.
The 49-year-old had been on his way to a conference in Australia, when the plane crashed near the border of Russia and Ukraine.
A report by Dutch authorities has yet to be published but a preliminary inquiry suggests reports the plane was shot down could be accurate. Pro-Russia rebels have been widely blamed for the attack.