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DONETSK, November 21. /TASS/. Officers of the Emergency Situations Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic have completed work to remove the wreckage of doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from the crash site in eastern Ukraine, spokeswoman Yuliana Bedilo, said on Friday.
“In total, we have collected 100 tons of jet fragments. They are now deposited at the railway station in the Ukrainian city of Torez. We do not know yet when they will be transported to the Netherlands. Still, we have loaded 12 train carriages with plane fragments ready for departure,” she told TASS.
The Dutch Safety Board, leading the investigation, plans to partly reconstruct the plane in the Netherlands in order to more thoroughly investigate the causes of the tragedy. However, only part of the jet fragments will be taken from the crash site.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, flying 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-defence forces and the Ukrainian army. All passengers and crewmembers on board the aircraft - 298 people - died. Most of the passengers - 196 people - were Dutch citizens.
The work on removing wreckage of the airplane became possible after representatives of the Netherlands, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic signed a relevant protocol on Saturday, November 15. Before that, the Dutch side refused to sign the document claiming it did not support some of the provisions in it. Besides, experts and investigators were unable to access the crash site due to continuous shelling on the territory.