World / Europe

Plane with MH17 bodies en route to Netherlands

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-07-23 19:36

Plane with MH17 bodies en route to Netherlands

Honour guards carry a coffin of one of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 which crashed in eastern Ukraine for loading on to a transport plane heading to the Netherlands at Kharkiv airpor July 23, 2014.[Photo/Agencies]

KIEV - The first plane carrying the remains of victims of crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 took off Wednesday from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv to the Netherlands, local media reported.

Plane with MH17 bodies en route to Netherlands

Special: Malaysian airliner crashes over Ukraine
The military plane, which is heading for the city of Eindhoven, is carrying the bodies of 16 victims and is due to arrive at 1600 local time (1400 GMT), when it will be met by members of the Dutch royal family.

Before the departure, a mourning ceremony was held at Kharkiv airport, attended by Ukrainian officials and representatives of embassies of the Netherlands, Canada, Britain, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia and the United States.

During the ceremony, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman expressed his condolences and sympathy to the families that have lost loved ones in the tragedy.

"On behalf of the president, the prime minister, the government and the whole Ukrainian people I appeal to the relatives of the flight MH17 passengers, asking to accept our deepest condolences. We grieve with you," Groysman said.

He voiced his country's commitment to making every effort to find out the cause of the disaster and bring the perpetrators to justice.

MH17, a Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk Thursday, killing all 298 people on board, including 193 Dutch citizens.

Although the Ukrainian government has said the search operation at the crash site has been completed, some international monitors argued that there was evidence of missing human remains in the area.

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