DONETSK, November 7. /TASS/. The wreckage of doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 could be removed from its Ukrainian crash site within a week, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Transport Ministry said on Friday.
“Debris is scattered across a vast area, and it will take quite a long time to load and remove it,” spokeswoman Ella Karakut said, adding that preparatory work was currently underway, and “if nothing changes, the wreckage of the plane will be taken back to the Netherlands by next Friday.”
Sources at the Donetsk republic's Emergencies and Transport ministries told TASS on Wednesday that the transportation to the Netherlands of wreckage from flight MH17 would start on Friday. The republic’s Interior Ministry would ensure the cargo’s safe transportation to the east Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, the Emergencies Ministry would clear the territory where the plane fragments were lying from mines while the Transport Ministry would provide five railroad cars one of which would be covered, Karakut said.
“The Dutch will do the loading. The OSCE acting as intermediary will accompany the cargo to the final destination. We, for our part, have taken a commitment to deliver the debris to Kharkiv,” she said.
Dutch investigators and OSCE monitors arrived at the crash site on Thursday. They were accompanied by rescuers from the Emergencies Ministry of the Donetsk republic. They inspected the debris and packed some things found at the crash site in special black plastic bags. In addition to that, the Dutch experts put up warning signs around the perimeter of places of major concentration of plane fragments.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on July 17, killing all the 298 passengers and crew on board, including 193 Dutch nationals.
The Dutch Safety Board, leading the investigation and coordinating the international team of investigators, said in its preliminary report in early September 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.