The remains of victims from the Malaysian Airlines flight 17 crash finally arrived in Ukrainian–held territory in order to be transported to the Netherlands Tuesday, after several days of haphazard treatment.
As world leaders work to establish the facts surrounding the tragic case, their frustration lies within the fact that the crash site, held by pro-Russian separatists who the West accuses of shooting down the plane, was left unsecured for five days following the disaster.
After a 17-hour-long journey from the town of Torez in pro-Russian territory, the train carrying the bodies of the victims arrived in Kharkiv, a Ukrainian-controlled city where they have set up their crash investigation center. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says that he expects the first plane carrying victims from the crash to arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday.
“It is our aim — and at the moment our expectation — that sometime tomorrow the first plane carrying victims will leave for Eindhoven,” he said.
Of the 298 victims, 193 were Dutch citizens, and Rutte said the identification of some bodies will be quick, while others may take weeks and some even months.
The West accuses Russia of providing the rebels with heavy weapons, including tanks and missile launchers, but Russia continues to deny those accusations. The European Union met to discuss tougher sanctions in response to last Thursday’s disaster, but the likelihood of them happening are slim.
In some areas of the crash site, the decaying smell indicates that some bodies still remain under the plane wreckage. An investigation continues.
SOURCE: NYT | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty