Date
13 December 2017
Dutch investigators oversee the removal of bodies and debris from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Photo: Reuters
Dutch investigators oversee the removal of bodies and debris from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Photo: Reuters

Dutch experts on hand as bodies are removed from MH17 site

Debris and human remains have been removed from the crash site of the MH17 jet in rebel-held eastern Ukraine after months of delays.

Dutch experts supervised the operation, targeting areas of the plane where most of the bodies are still unidentified.

The debris and remains will be taken to the Netherlands for examination, the BBC reported.

The plane was shot down in July, killing all 298 people on board, mostly Dutch nationals. Russia-backed rebels have been blamed, although they deny it.

Dutch experts oversaw workers from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic cutting up parts of the plane and using cranes to load them onto lorries.

Inspectors from the Netherlands had wanted to retrieve the debris themselves, but agreed to work with the rebel administration as they feared for their safety.

Lack of security at the crash site, near the village of Grabove, led to weeks of delays, but a deal made with local militias this week allowed the removal work to begin on Sunday.

The Dutch Safety Board said in a statement that the recovery operation would take several days, adding that the wreckage would assist “the investigation into the cause of the crash”.

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FL/RA

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