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MH17: First bodies flown to the Netherlands as investigators search for further remains

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MH17: First bodies flown to the Netherlands as investigators search for further remains


Ukrainian officials have paid respect to the 298 people who lost their lives when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was downed on July 17.

At the airport in Kharkiv, some 50 coffins were laid out, in preparation for the flight to the Netherlands. Upon arrival, forensics experts will begin what promises to be a lengthy identification process.

Up to five days after the tragedy, human remains could still be seen at the crash site, according to a representative of the OSCE European security watchdog.

“We did not observe any recovery activity in place,” OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said following an inspection of the site on July 22.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said it was unclear exactly how many bodies had been transported from the crash site to Kharkiv.

Head of the Dutch forensics team, Jan Tuinder, confirmed that not all the bodies had been found.

“There were more people on the plane, there were more remains to be found and we are not in a position at this moment to put all the remains to the person. What we are sure of is 200.”

Flight MH17 was downed near to Donetsk in Ukraine’s restive east during a passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The circumstances surrounding the crash are not yet clear.

Investigators hope the ‘black box’ flight recorders will provide vital information about what happened to the Boeing 777. They arrived in Britain for analysis on July 23, according to the Ukrainian government’s Special Investigation Committee.

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