Malaysian plane bodies to be flown to Netherlands

Malaysian plane bodies to be flown to Netherlands

PanARMENIAN.Net - The first bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines plane which crashed in Ukraine last week are to be flown to the Netherlands for identification, BBC News reported.

The plane crashed after apparently being hit by a missile on July 17 killing all 298 people on board, most of whom were Dutch.

A refrigerated train carriage carrying around 200 bodies from the crash site arrived in the government-held city of Kharkiv on Tuesday, July 22. The operation to find the remaining bodies and secure crucial evidence continues.

Russia has repeatedly said Ukrainian government forces are to blame for the attack, but the U.S. officials said that Russian claims were "not plausible".

The first bodies from flight MH17 are due to arrive in Eindhoven at 16:00 local time (14:00 GMT) after a farewell ceremony attended by Ukrainian officials in Kharkiv.

The Dutch royal family and the prime minister Mark Rutte will meet the plane.

The bodies are then due to be taken to the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks for identification. Rutte said that process could "take weeks or even months".

The Dutch government has declared Wednesday a day of national mourning.

In a separate process, the aircrafts flight data recorders have been handed over to Dutch authorities by Malaysian officials. The devices, also known as 'black boxes', will be sent to Farnborough in the UK for analysis.

U.S. intelligence officials, speaking anonymously at a press briefing on Tuesday, said the "most plausible explanation" for the shooting down of the plane was that pro-Russian militias mistook it for another aircraft. "Five days into it, it does appear to be a mistake," one of the officials said, according to the BBC.

They went on to say that Russia was responsible for creating the conditions that led to the crash.

"It's a solid case that it's a SA-11 that was fired from eastern Ukraine under conditions the Russians helped create," one official said.

However, there was no direct evidence of direct Russian involvement in the firing of the SA-11 surface-to-air missile believed to have caused the crash, the officials said.

Nor did the U.S. know that the pro-Russian armed men possessed SA-11 missiles until after the plane was shot down, the officials added.

The officials said that their findings were based in part on social media postings and video released in recent days.

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