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MH17 flight victims’ remains found in Ukraine

September 25, 2015, 19:50 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
Two Dutch nationals out of the 298 passengers and crew killed in the crash have not been identified so far
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©  TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

THE HAGUE, September 25. /TASS/. Human remains presumably of the victims of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that crashed in July 2014 have been found in Ukraine, the Dutch Security and Justice Ministry said on Friday.

"The presumed mortal remains and the material were found in the vicinity of the ‘burned site’ near Hrabove, where flight MH17 came down," the ministry said. "The Dutch embassy in Kiev will take care of transport to Kharkiv. From Kharkiv these items will come to the Netherlands."

Two Dutch nationals out of the 298 passengers and crew killed in the crash have not been identified so far. Their relatives were invited to Schiphol airport to attend the ceremony when the National Forensic Investigation Team will hand the remains over to experts.

In May, international specialists completed searches at the crash site in eastern Ukraine. But the Netherlands has still had its team in Ukraine, agreeing with the local authorities that human remains and victims’ belongings would be handed over if recovered.

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 from the Russian border, in the zone of combat operations between the Donetsk self-defence forces and the Ukrainian army. All the passengers and crewmembers aboard the aircraft - 298 people from ten countries - died. Two-thirds of the passengers - 196 people - were Dutch citizens.

On July 21, 2014 the UN Security Council demanded a thorough and unbiased investigation.

In early September, the Dutch Safety Board said in its preliminary report that the MH17 flight 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. A surface-to-air or air-to-air missile that allegedly hit the plane is considered the biggest factor behind the crash.

Kiev authorities and militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic have blamed each other for shooting down the airliner.

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