Malaysia

Malaysian probe team confirm remains of MH17 victims reached Kharkiv

A guard stands on a train carrying the remains of victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine after it arrived in the city of Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine today. – Reuters pic, July 22, 2014.A guard stands on a train carrying the remains of victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine after it arrived in the city of Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine today. – Reuters pic, July 22, 2014.The Malaysian investigative team has received the remains of those aboard Flight MH17 which was shot down in Ukraine last Thursday. 

The bodies were taken in refrigerated coaches of a train to Kharkiv, about 500km from Kiev about noon (5pm Malaysian time).

Bernama quoted team leader Khairil Hilmi Mokhtar confirming the arrival of the bodies when contacted.

Official media personnel, after six hours of waiting since 6am (11pm Malaysian time), were barred from entering the operations area where the bodies would be identified and transferred from the train.

Bernama quoted a Kharkiv local government officer as saying the bodies were taken to a military base before being repatriated.

Bernama reported that the team was despatched to Kharkiv following an announcement by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya Monday night that 282 bodies would be moved by train from Torez to Kharkiv .

This was after he successfully negotiated with Alexander Borodai, who is in command of the region in troubled Ukraine where the tragedy had occurred.

Najib said the remains would then be flown to Amsterdam on board a Dutch C-130 Hercules, together with the Malaysian team.

Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens would then be flown to Malaysia, he added.

Bernama said the Malaysian special team comprised 23 personnel from the Special Malaysian Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, 12 police forensic personnel and a transport ministry official. Nine newsmen also accompanied them.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed on July 17 over eastern Ukraine killing all 298 people on board, with officials in Kiev and Moscow both denying involvement in the shooting down of the jet. – July 22, 2014.

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