Ballarat terror attack survivors reflect on MH17 tragedy

Ballarat's David Ure survived the Bali bombings in 2002. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Ballarat's David Ure survived the Bali bombings in 2002. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

THE images of the fire and wreckage from ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have brought back haunting memories for two Ballarat men who have lived through similar traumatic events which shook the world.

For David Ure and Noel Perry, waking up to scenes of devastation after 295 passengers and crew from MH17 - including 27 from Australia - were killed when the plane was shot down by a missile over the Ukraine, has triggered some horrible memories of when the two men barely escaped with their lives.

Ballarat car salesman Mr Ure knows all about tragedy, having survived the Bali bombings in 2002, while Mr Perry has been reminded of his close shave with the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York in 2001.

Mr Ure was dubbed a hero after dragging at least six people out of the wreckage of the Sari Club in Kuta after the Bali bombings.

Turning on the TV on Friday morning left Mr Ure in disbelief as he watched the footage of the scene from the Ukraine.

"I was dumbfounded that it actually happened, it's certainly not something that you want to see," he said.

The MH17 tragedy reminded Mr Ure of the struggles he went through to recover emotionally after the Bali bombings.

"It is similar in that we don't actually know what happened and people aren't going to get that closure," he said.

Mr Ure extended his sympathies to the families of the victims, saying that they should lean on their friends and family through the hard times ahead.

"Don't think about the 'what ifs', but about 'what is', don't internalise about [it]," Mr Ure said.

Mr Perry and his wife, Annamaree, were in New York on the day of the 9/11 attack and would have been inside the Twin Towers if they hadn't been delayed.

Mr Perry said it was a terrible loss of innocent human life, which those involved would never be able to forget.

"You never forget these things, they linger on in the back of you mind, asking why, why, why? But you never have the answer," Mr Perry said.

Although those involved in the event will struggle, Mr Perry said that focusing on what they have, rather than what they have lost might help ease the pain.

Mr and Mrs Perry are set to fly to Russia soon and Mr Perry said the couple had not changed their plans.

"We're flying with Singapore Airlines and we shouldn't be going anywhere near the Ukraine, since it's been made a no-fly zone," he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) advises family and friends to call loved-ones they believe to be on MH17 directly before trying the hotline.

The DFA hotline number is: 1300 555 135.

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