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MH17 bodies to go to Netherlands
22 Jul 2014 17:05
The first bodies from the MH17 crash in Ukraine will be flown to the Netherlands tomorrow, where their identification could take months, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said this afternoon.
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"Tomorrow the first plane [with bodies] will leave for Eindhoven" in the southern Netherlands, Mr Rutte told journalists.</p><p>He was speaking after the bodies arrived in Ukraine's Kharkiv town from rebel-held territory.</p><p>"Preparations will be made in Kharkiv so that identification can be done in the Netherlands as well as possible," he said.</p><p>"As soon as a victim is identified, first and foremost the family will be informed and no one else. That can take weeks or months."</p><p>Of the 298 people killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was brought down over Ukraine, allegedly by a missile fired by pro-Russia rebels, 193 are Dutch, and the Netherlands is in charge of their identification.</p><p>Mr Rutte said that OSCE monitors in Ukraine had indicated around 200 bodies were aboard the train, while unconfirmed reports said it contained 282 bodies.</p><p>"As soon as some victims are ready to be transported, the plane will leave," Mr Rutte said, confirming that all the bodies would be brought to the Netherlands and then flown on to their respective countries.</p><p>The Dutch defence ministry said that a Dutch C-130 Hercules and an Australian C-17 transport plane would create an "airbridge" between Kharkiv and Eindhoven to bring the bodies back.
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