British couple's narrow escape
Barry and Izzy Sim cheated death on ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flightBBC

A British couple and their baby were due to fly on the doomed Malaysian Airlines MH17 but were turned away because there were not enough seats.

Barry Sim, from Aberdeenshire and his wife Izzy were forced to switch to a KLM flight at the last minute when they checked in at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam yesterday.

Mrs Sim said 'someone must have been watching over them' to stop them from going on board the flight, which was later shot down by a missile in 'an act of terrorism' - thought to be by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound flight left Amsterdam at lunchtime on 17 July. Hours later while cruising at around 30,000ft on one of the main routes from Europe to Asia it was hit by the Soviet Buk missile – killing all 298 people on board – including 80 children.

Nine British passengers have been confirmed dead.

When the couple realised their narrow escape, Mr Sim told the Daily Telegraph: "You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach... We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going."

An emotionally distraught Mrs Sim added: "There must have been someone watching over us and saying 'you must not get on that flight'.

"We are very loyal to Malaysia Airlines and we always want to fly with Malaysia Airlines.

"But do you know what, at this moment we are so glad to be on that KLM flight rather than that Malaysia Airlines flight."