First MH17 crash victims identified

A Malaysian air crash investigator (R) works at a crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region July 24, 2014.

A Malaysian air crash investigator (R) works at a crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region July 24, 2014.

Forensic experts have identified the first of 298 people killed when flight MH17 which was shot down over Ukraine last week, the Dutch government said on Saturday.

“Today the first victim of the flight MH17 disaster was identified,” the justice ministry said in a statement.

“It’s a Dutch citizen and the victim’s family and mayor of where they lived have been informed.”

The Dutch are in charge of identifying all the victims from the July 17 disaster over rebel-held Ukraine, 193 of whom were Dutch.

“The team of 200 specialists is busy with the identification process, but warns that it can take months for all the victims to be identified,” the statement said.

Some bodies remain at the crash site but 227 coffins with the remains of people of 17 nationalities have already been flown back to the Netherlands for identification.

All remains have yet to be recovered from the crash site, with the Netherlands and Australia seeking a mandate to send troops to secure the area amid ongoing fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrianian forces.

 
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