Remains of MH17 victims head home, black box returned

22 Jul 2014 / 11:47 H.

PETALING JAYA: The remains of 282 passengers of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that was recovered from the crash site in Ukraine will be handed over to the Dutch authorities before being flown to the Netherlands over the next 24 hours.
In a press conference held at Seri Perdana last night, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said he had spoken to pro-Russia separatist leader Alexander Borodai on pressing matters related to the air crash. The issues were resolved yesterday.
He said a Dutch military Hercules C-130 aircraft will fly the remains of the victims to Amsterdam accompanied by a Malaysian recovery team.
"The remains of 282 people, currently in Torez, will be moved by train to Kharkiv, where they will be handed over to representatives from the Netherlands. The train will depart this evening Ukraine time, and will be accompanied by six Malaysian members of the recovery team. Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be flown home to Malaysia." he said.
Najib said at 9pm Ukraine time, the recovered black boxes of MH17 will also be handed over to a Malaysian team in Donetsk.
"Borodai has also given his assurance that international investigators will be provided safe passage to the crash site to conduct investigations," Najib added.
He said the bodies of the victims will be taken to Amsterdam for forensic examination before they are returned to their respective countries.
"I must stress that although agreement has been reached, there remain a number of steps required before it is completed. There is work still to be done, work which relies on continued communication in good faith." he said.
Najib said Malaysia has been working behind the scene to establish contact with those in charge of the MH17 crash site.
"That contact has now been made. Under difficult and fluid circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied us all – securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an independent investigation, and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives." he said.

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