Malaysian flight: 26 more victims of MH17 crash identified

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26 more victims of MH17 crash identified
The Hague, Sep 27: This week, 26 more victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 disaster in eastern Ukraine have been identified, resulting in a total of 251 identified people now, the Dutch security ministry said.

Of the 26 new identified bodies, 19 were of Dutch nationality, the ministry said Friday. At the request of the embassies of the countries concerned, the specific nationalities of the non-Dutch victims were not made known, Xinhua reported citing the ministry.

A team of specialists in the army barracks in the city of Hilversum have been entrusted with the task of identifying the victims of the crash. It may take several more months before every victim will be identified, if that happens at all.

Flight MH17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew members on board. Of the victims, 196 were of Dutch nationality.

On July 23, the first aircraft with the remains and the bodies of the victims arrived at Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands, followed by several other flights. The coffins were brought to the Corporal Van Oudheusden barracks in Hilversum for identification of the victims.

Also Friday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was not optimistic about getting back more human remains and personal belongings of the victims of the crash. The Netherlands Aug 5 stopped the recovery and repatriation mission at the crash site until further notice due to the deteriorating security condition in the area.

"Right now, I am not optimistic that we can return for the winter," Rutte said on Dutch TV show Nieuwsuur. "But it remains our aim to return before the winter. That's our priority."

IANS

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