الإثنين , يونيو 8 2020

MH17 victims begin long journey home

From clockwise top, a coffin is carried to a military plane at Kharkiv airport bound for Holland, flowers are left at the airport following a ceremony for the victims of MH17, the flight carrying the bodies takes off, Ukrainian citizens hold up a sign which reads Kharkiv is sympathizing

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

Richard Galpin reports from Kharkiv airport on the “simple and solemn” ceremony

The first planes carrying victims’ bodies from crashed flight MH17 have left Ukraine for the Netherlands, where experts will begin identifying them.

The Dutch prime minister will meet the planes in Eindhoven, amid a national day of mourning for the victims.

A total of 200 bodies have so far been accounted for from the 298 victims, 193 of whom were Dutch nationals.

The US says it believes pro-Russian rebels shot down the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane on 17 July by mistake.

The rebels, who control the area around the crash site, have also been accused of stalling the release of the bodies and tampering with evidence.

A refrigerated train carriage carrying about 200 bodies arrived at the government-held city of Kharkiv on Tuesday, four days after the crash.

Experts said they would continue to search the crash site.

Honour guards carry a coffin of one of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 at Kharkiv airport July 23Honour guards carried the coffins on to two planes at Kharkiv airport

Malaysian air crash investigators take pictures of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22Teams of investigators from several countries are still at the crash site

On Wednesday morning, 40 coffins were slowly loaded on to two military planes at Kharkiv airport.

The BBC’s Daniel Sandford in Kharkiv says ambassadors, officials and soldiers gathered to see off the planes.

Australian government envoy Angus Houston said the ceremony was intended to give the victims the “respect and dignity they deserve” after a “tragedy of unspeakable proportions”.

The Dutch government representative said the victims had begun their “long journey” home.

The first flight is due to arrive in Eindhoven at 16:00 local time (14:00 GMT) and will be met by members of the Dutch royal family and the Prime Minister Mark Rutte.



Floral tributes left to victims

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

A day of mourning is being held in the Netherlands, Anna Holligan reports

The bodies are then due to be taken to the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks south of Hilversum for identification.

Mr Rutte said that process could take months.

In a separate process, the “black box” flight-data recorders from MH17 have arrived in the UK, where they will be examined at the headquarters of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch in Farnborough.

Continue reading the main story

Tweets

In Washington, officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence presented evidence they had gathered on the involvement of the rebels.

“It’s a solid case that it’s an SA-11 [missile] that was fired from eastern Ukraine under conditions the Russians helped create,” said the officials, who requested that their names not be reported.

They said the “most plausible explanation” for the shooting down of the plane was that rebels mistook it for another aircraft.

The evidence they presented included:

  • Satellite images of a facility allegedly used to train rebels near the Russian city of Rostov, which were later tweeted by Geoffrey Pyatt, US ambassador to Ukraine
  • Other images purportedly showing a surface-to-air missile launcher in the area
  • Analysis of voice recordings of pro-Russian rebels apparently admitting bringing the airliner down
  • Photos and messages from social-media sites pointing to rebel involvement

Flowers lie on the wrecked fuselage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22Experts have expressed concern that forensic evidence at the crash site could be lost

Separately, a rebel militiaman told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he had been ordered to the crash site minutes after the plane had gone down.

He said his commanders had told him: “We’ve just shot down one of the Kiev fascists’ planes.”

The militiaman said: “We thought we were looking for baled-out Ukrainian pilots but instead we found dead civilians.”



Train with MH17 bodies arrives in Kharkiv (22 July)

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

The train carrying bodies from the MH17 crash site arrived in Kharkiv on Tuesday

The US and other nations have accused rebels of blocking access to the crash site, putting valuable evidence at risk.

In Australia, former American President Bill Clinton paid tribute to six HIV/Aids campaigners who were on board MH17.

He said their lives had been “overpowering in their contribution to a shared future”.

Meanwhile, the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and rebels has continued, with reports of fighting near Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Tuesday the army had captured the town of Severodonetsk, 140km (90 miles) from the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine erupted in April and is believed to have claimed more than 1,000 lives.

map

شاهد أيضاً

COPTIC SOLIDARITY LAUNCHES URGENT CALL TO END CRIME OF FORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF COPTIC WOMEN IN EGYPT

A Coptic woman, Ranya Abd al-Masih (“servant of Christ”), 39, disappeared in Egypt on April 22, 2020, …

اترك تعليقاً

لن يتم نشر عنوان بريدك الإلكتروني. الحقول الإلزامية مشار إليها بـ *