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SINGAPORE, October 3. /TASS/. Five more bodies from the Malaysian passenger aircraft, which crashed in Ukraine’s southeast over two months ago, were airlifted from Amsterdam to the airport in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
The aircraft carrying the bodies was met at the airport was met by members of the Malaysian Royal family along with government officials and after the plane landed in Kuala Lumpur a minute of silence was observed to commemorate the victims of the tragic crash.
The Boeing 777-200 of the Malaysia Airlines en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region, some 60 km (over 37 miles) from the Russian border, in the zone of combat operations between the Donetsk self-defense forces and the Ukrainian army. All the passengers and crewmembers onboard the aircraft - 298 people - died. Most of the passengers - 196 people - were Dutch citizens.
Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein earlier said that a total of 42 bodies of the Malaysian nationals killed in the July plane crash were brought home, while bodies of two more Malaysian citizens were considered either missing or still unidentified.
The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the investigation and coordinating the international team of investigators, said in its preliminary report last month that “Flight MH17 with a Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.”
International experts from the Netherlands, Australia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) began arriving at the airliner crash site near the settlement of Gabovo, 79 km (49 miles) north of Donetsk, since July 31 in search of the missing bodies of passengers and aircraft’s remains. Before that, they had not been able to carry out their search operation for a week over incessant fighting between the local self-defense militia and pro-Kiev troops.
The search resumed after the warring sides agreed on a ceasefire around the airliner wreckage area and on a security corridor for the arrival of experts and their work at the crash site.