MH17: Remains transferred to morgue near Schiphol Airport

21 Aug 2014 / 19:08 H.

    THE HAGUE: The remains of 12 victims of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH17 tragedy were transferred on Wednesday morning to a morgue near the Schiphol International Airport before being brought back to Malaysia.
    Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the remains which were earlier kept at the Monuta Innemee funeral home in S-Gravenhage, were transferred at 9.45am today.
    The remains of five more Muslim victims is expected to be transferred once the funeral rites, scheduled at 6pm today, are finalised.
    "This is to facilitate the placement of the remains into caskets as well as that of the three victims (who had been cremated) in the urns, into a special MAS aircraft, to be flown home from the Netherlands at 2pm on Thursday," he told the Malaysian media.
    This was to avoid any unforeseen situations as the original funeral home was situated about 26km from the airport.
    Dr Wee said the first batch of 20 remains were expected to be placed into the aircraft early Thursday morning, a process which would take about two hours.
    Meanwhile, he said, the remains of two more victims who were Buddhist and Christian would be cremated at the Monuta Innemee funeral home but they would not be on time to be sent back with the first batch of remains.
    He said it would take at least 48 hours to make the arrangements before permission was granted by the Dutch authorities to hand over to the Malaysian government.
    Elaborating on the status of the two groups of remains expected to be send home on Aug 24, Dr Wee said the number depended on the process which they would have to go through, including obtaining permission from the Dutch authorities.
    He said it was still too early to determine the actual number of remains in the second batch because the process of identifying the remains was being conducted at the Hilversum Military Medical Camp near here.
    Dr Wee added that the remains of Malaysian victims had to go through five processes - getting the death certificate, the medical report, the disaster report, the permit to export the remains, and the consent by the Dutch public prosecution officer, whether to bury or cremate.
    To date, the remains of 28 Malaysian victims of the MH17 tragedy have been identified, eight of whom had not been released by the Dutch authorities to be brought back to Malaysia.
    Flight MH17 carrying 298 passengers was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, when it crashed in east Ukraine on July 17. Besides 43 Malaysians, passengers on the flight included citizens from Holland, Australia, Indonesia, Britain, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand. – Bernama

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