THE HAGUE, August 02. /ITAR-TASS/. About 100 experts will be involved in daily operations to recover human remains at the crash site of the Malaysian Boeing in eastern Ukraine, head of fact-finding mission Peter Jap Albersberg said on Friday, the first day of full-scale search operations.
Around 70 specialists reached the air crash site on Friday and started search immediately at several places. On Saturday, according to Albersberg, ten more people would join the operation and by Monday the mission will number five groups of 20 people each. It was planned to involve divers and specially trained dogs to the search operation, Albersberg said, adding that everything would depend on the security situation.
He also spoke about the details of the search operation. Thus, two types of specialists are involved in the process. Experts of the first group comb the area to mark off important finds and then experts of the second group wearing special protective clothing collect the finds. Other policemen perform various tasks from cordoning off sites to removing fragments. Everything found at the site is photographed and then put into special bags, marked and carried in stretchers. Human remains are taken to the Ukrainian town of Soledar in special freezers to be further carried to Kharkov in refrigerator rail cars. From Kharkov, they are taken to the Netherlands by plane. Personal belongings are packed separately to be transported to Eindhoven.
He said it was difficult to say exactly how long it will take to recover all the remains but, in his words, several weeks would be obviously needed.
Until Friday, the multinational mission was headquartered in Donetsk but it was decided to transfer its headquarters to Soledar some 90 kilometer away from the crash site to facilitate access to the area.
Over first several days after the crash, Donetsk militia, which controls the territory around the crash area, recovered more than 227 bodies, which have already been taken to the Netherlands. An international mission of 400 Dutch, Australian and Malaysian experts is tasked to retrieve the remaining bodies of the crash victims. The mission might be expanded if need be, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
A Boeing-777 of the Malaysia Airlines (flight MH17) en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region 60 km from the Russian border, in the zone of combat operation between the Donetsk self-defence forces and the Ukrainian army. All the passengers and crewmembers onboard the plane - 298 people - died. Most of the passengers - 196 people - were Dutch citizens.